August 7th, 2008
09:40 PM ET
14 years ago

New Details: Man held for alleged Obama assassination threat


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Raymond Hunter Geisel is being held on charges that he threatened to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama."]
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - A man was being held in Florida on Thursday on charges he told classmates at a training seminar that he would kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama if he is elected, according to a law enforcement official and court documents.

The threats came just days before Obama was scheduled to visit Florida and were made by a person discovered to have ammunition, a handgun and other weapons, authorities said.

An affidavit filed by a Secret Service agent in U.S. District Court claims that Raymond Hunter Geisel, of Marathon, Florida, threatened to "kill, kidnap and cause bodily harm upon a major candidate for president of the United States, that is, Senator Barack Obama."

A search of Geisel's vehicle and a hotel room in Miami, where Geisel was attending a bail bondsman training class, found a 9-mm handgun, ammunition that included armor-piercing and rifle bullets, police-style emergency lights, body armor, a machete and two canisters of tear gas, among other military-style items, according to the document.

Agents say that classmates of Geisel reported that, between July 25-28, Geisel used a racial slur toward Obama and said "if he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

A classmate said that, one day after class, she also heard Geisel say "that he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head."

Obama made several campaign stops in Florida on Friday, a day before federal agents arrested Geisel at a Holiday Inn Express in Miami.

During an interview with the Secret Service, Geisel said he couldn't remember whether he threatened Obama and the president, but told agents that "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he would simply shoot him with a sniper rifle."

He later said that comment was a joke, the agent said in the document.

Geisel also said he has post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects his memory, and had once checked himself into a psychiatric institution for treatment.

The affidavit, signed by Special Agent Charles R. Adie, said Geisel "generally provided no excuse" for why he had the weapons and other items - claiming that he collects some of them, that the handgun was for target practice during the bail bondsman course and that he uses the machete and a hatchet for cutting through brush in Maine, where he lived most of his life before moving to Florida in January.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen T. Brown ordered that Geisel be held in jail until his trial, calling him a danger to the community and a risk to run away before his date in court.

The judge noted that Geisel lives on a sailboat, is unemployed and has no strong ties to the Florida area.

Geisel is scheduled to appear in court on August 18. If he has been officially indicted by then, he would enter a plea. If not, it would merely be a preliminary hearing on the charges.

Click here to read the Secret Service affidavit

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. sal

    Can we get Blackwater to protect Obama like we got Blackwater to protect Paul Bremer in Iraq?

    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. biffington, biff

    Really Matt.... Really???

    and so what.... DOES THAT MINIZE THIS FOR YOU????


    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    I am so glad they caught this nut case.

    With all the hatred being spewed in the blogs I'm afraid this won't be the last.

    Hilliary supporters calling Obama and his supporters all kinds of terrible names and spewing hate.
    Obama supporters calling Hilliary supporters calling all kinds of terrible names and spewing hate.
    Democrats calling McCain and his supporters all kinds of names and spewing hate.

    This is what comes out of all that hate.

    Think of all the tension that is leading towards the Democratic convention. Hillary supporters who absoultly hate Obama have already planned two demonstations. There is so much bitterness and anger boiling over in the Democratic party. I don't think they are ready for the deep emotinonal termoil that they have created with an African American and Women as their two leading candidates.

    Please tone it down. This is America, we are all free to support the candidate and party of our choice. We can disagree with each other, but keep it civil. Once the votes are counted, respect the results. If your candidate of choice does not win, look forward to the next election and respect, don't react with all this hate. Hate breeds violence. Stop it now.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. david,baltimore,mamryland

    WHEN you consider the incredible latitude that bounty hunters have,it is not surprising that this kind of remark would have been made.Bounty hunters have been taught they can basically do anything they want to bring back a bail jumper.They can break down somebody's front door without knocking if they have a reasonable basis for believing there is a bail jumper inside.THese vermin need to be taught a lesson that they are not above the law ;this guy should be made a national example of with the end goal of promoting reform in what these animals can do.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Nikki

    I pray for Obama.
    I attended an event. The metal detector alerted as I walked through with a HUGE bag. There were two secret service men on both sides of the metal detector. NO ONE BOTHERED to ask to check my bag. Needless to say, I was pissed off and could not enjoy the Senator's speech because of the lack of security.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Jeff

    I'm not surprised. Change is scary to most people which is why our leaders for change has always fallen victim to nut jobs. Lincoln, JFK, RFK and MLK. It would be a sad day in America if this happens again. Let all hope this doesn't happen and both candidates remain safe.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    You are the lowest sort of trash to wish for the death of a man who's never done you any harm except to beat your favorite fair and square. What a twisted rotted core you must have.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. California Gold

    Frightening and a sobering reminder of danger around us.

    August 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. MJC

    For everyone who is comparing this guy to Jesse Jackson needs to step back and look at the 2 cases objectively and if you don't see the difference than I guess "you take pride in being ignorant".

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Rachelraye- MD

    The blood of Jesus is all around Senator Obama he has the power to keep him safe from all harm and danger. This year has already been a divine intervention for me. He wouldn't have gotten this far if the Lord was not holding him in the palm of his hands. What God has for him it is for him. The Secret Service needs additional help and it's the Lord.

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Robert

    You people who think Clinton or McCain had anything to do with this are sick – sick – sick. A true indication of where and with whom things are wrong in this country. It is a very stupid person who thought that Clinton was saying anything more than Kennedy was in his campaign well into June. If you thought anything else....well, what a show of ignorant Americans. You are stupid people and just what Obama ordered up – followers with no brains!

    Shame on you folks.

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. PUMA in Training

    @ Bob Indianapolis, IN

    "More PUMAs, huh?"

    Your comment is ignorant and completely inappropriate. I cannot believe CNN posted your comment. You are a disgrace to the human race.

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Just a Mom

    I pray for Senator Obama and his family's safety, (and I'm a lapsed Catholic).

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Matt, Canoga Park August 7th, 2008 4:24 pm ET
    Jesse Jackson said he wanted to do Barack bodily harm as well and his threat was caught on camera so there is no denying that he did it.
    No charges were filed against him.
    Double Standard? How convienient.
    Bill from ALabama August 7th, 2008 4:29 pm ET
    Jessie Jackson threatened to castrate Obama on National Television…………..has he been detained?????????
    You two can't be serious. "Cut off his nut$" was an obvious figure of speech. You know, I try to avoid thinking of others as just plain stupid, but every once in a while you run into someone (or two) who make the conclusion unavoidable.

    We can only hope that the Secret Service is able to keep getting the job done. Unfortunately, there are many people who's hate of others outweighs their love for their country.

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. independent

    the more reason congress needs to approve more money for the secret service

    August 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. JoAnne, MD

    Americans can be so stupid. Yeah, we really want leaders killed because we don't agree with them? How stupid is that, give me a break. This is the oldest democracy, we're supposed to set an example around the world. This is not some banana republic. Jeesh

    I will be praying for the Senator that God will keep him and his family safe.


    August 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Jo Ann

    This is so sad but this is the United States of America where there is still so many filled with hate. God please keep Obama and his family sourrounded by your warring angels, heaven knows he need them.

    August 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. C'est Moi

    Relax PPL!! The ones that scream the loudest threats are always harmless. This skunk knew he has no chance in the world to carry out a sophisticated project like this. Bailbonds Training?? Well I hope he got good contacts for Bond Service as he'll soon be needing 1.

    White House here we come. We'll hit JM like a runaway train come the 4th!!

    08 BO and matter of fact add 12 maket he haters cry just for the f/heck of it. And maybe in 16 we'll see Michelle running.

    August 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Skip

    The secret service doesn't have much of a sense of humor. Don't joke with them. Especially about killing people. Idiot.

    August 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Sherry, Atlanta

    God be with you and your Family, Senator Obama

    August 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Wayne

    Strange that no one seems to care that the guy also threatened to kill President Bush.

    August 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Brent

    I bet he listened to conservative talk radio. Especially Sean Hannity.

    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    A threat upon anyones life because they chose to work in the service of this country is uterly unAmerican. You would expect this type of threat from outside sources, not within.

    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    You Obama-bots are truley stupid. To infer Hillary was behind this is lunacy. I can not believe your mentality. I saw the caption and ask myself how many nuts will make some stupid comment about Hillary. Sure enough they are here. I pray for his safety, but I still hope he loses in November.

    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I'm out of here.
    Liberty, freedom of speach, etc...I can't continue where I'm going to have big black trucks driving up to my home every time I voice a comment that isn't politically correct about either one of the two ....holes running for President.

    Retired–loving it.


    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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