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. Not with my vote!

    To: United

    Your comment– "I bet Hillary put him up to it." These kind of comments from Obama supporters like is one of the reasons why I will not vote for him!!! You may say you don't care, but you'll care come the morning of November 5! You are pathetic.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. James Doe

    The saddest part to me is that the guy is only 22 years old (probably born in 1986). Where does this type of racial hatred come from? While his generational peers have become more tolerant, he has, sadly. remained influenced by sentiments from a time that we're all hoping to me moving away from

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

    I bet Sean Hannity is really proud of his country now.

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

    nova you are an idioit. like it or not. sen obama will be the next president of the united states of america. nobody is worse than that old bag that you have for a candidate with not substance. the only words in his vocabulary is war and surge. is this what you want for a president?

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Anybody like Matt from Canoga Park who insinuates that Geisel is getting busted just because he's white is as moronic as you can get. Matt seems to have the same mentality as Charles Manson, who wanted to start a war between the races.

    But could you at least provide some evidence of what you are saying? At least show us that the agent who busted Geisel is African-American. Your logic doesn't work very well if the agent is white, does it now? Maybe you'll start claiming that the agent is under the control of the African-American wing of the Secret Service which is hellbent on taking over this country and already have Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi under their control. Idiots.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Joan Durtz

    Here we go! The "white" fear is beginning to kick in. This is a sick country. This type of crap is such a regression. I hope and pray that he and his family are truly protected.

    Throw that redneck under the jail!

    PS. Hey Matt From Canoga Park...You're an idiot

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

    DEB August 7th, 2008 4:35 pm ET


    What a sick statement to make.

    August 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. The Truth

    He had to have known this was coming. I'm sure he will wear a vest now.

    Go Barack!

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

    john mccain becomes silent when he is confronted in trying to define what is success for iraq..john mccain rather continue a war without end than even consider bring war to end...john mccain talks different than he realy walks..john mccain is more obssesive of the war and his judment is more riskier than george w bush in matters of the war..john mccain way or no way regardless of wht american feel war in how this war effec the country serve or be served?

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

    Let him face justice to it's fullest extent, If a peson is carzy enough to make such a statement and later say it was a joke has a very deranged sence of hummor and an even greater deranged mind.
    Barack, if you are for him or against him he is a human being and no human being should have their life threatened. This man should not be allowed on American's streets again. Justice will prevail..............

    August 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Jason, Omaha, NE

    What scares me about this is that this country has made steps in terms of race relations to even have an African American candidate make it this far. But, if Obama becomes President and one backwards, racist redneck shoots Obama it will set race relations back in this country 50 years. I just pray that nothing happens to him and that if God forbid something did, that this country could recover from the wounds. I see an intelligent man with an ability to inspire and lead, please don't take that away from us, America need Obama right now.

    August 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Florida, hmmm?

    It would be Florida, wouldn't it?

    August 7, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. muffy


    What an asinine stupid comment to make at a time when something like this was just said. You are ignorant.

    Hilary and Bill have caused enough trouble, they need to get lost.

    August 7, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. dp

    KEEP Obama SAFE he will and has made things
    Better for America.

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Tara

    And so it begins. the crazies and loonies that will loose whatever is left of their minds if a black man is president.

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Hillary supporter backing McCain

    Why don't you report that he also threatened President Bush. That's the trouble with you CNN – it's all about Obama

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. bakersfield

    don't blame hillary for this, plus you talk about people being racist then you use the words hillbilly and redneck.

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Kevin Carroll

    Well of course this is not cool but is there ever a presidential candidate that doesn't get several death threats? Who knows why this guy threatened Obama? It could be because he's black but unless the guy said that, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion.

    Every deranged little kook has their reason for each candidate. Be happy that they made the threat so that they can be weeded out. The most dangerous nuts are those who act first and explain later.

    For example . . . think Unabomber.

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Dan

    America is proving to the world once again that a significant portion of our population is made up of ignorant people. That explains why gutter politics works. Ignorant people do not have the capacity to understand and evaluate issues. McCain and Republican brothers know this so that explains why they continue to spew out garbage. and those in the media, like the smell ofrotten garbage so they pick this up and share it with opne another. The enjoy debating rotten garbage.

    August 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. paula

    TO The Clear Thinking Independent
    You are 100% correct Hillary's poorly chosen words are a disgrace, and she wants to be president.Huckabee made a joke about this two shame on both of them.

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |

    I have a feeling this is just another publicity stunt. Worse things have been said about Bush in these blogs and I haven't heard of anyone being arrested.

    Wake up people! Anything to get the topic of Pelosi blocking energy votes so we the people can suffer another month and a half. Anything to get the topic off of Obama flip-flopping on drilling and throwing Pelosi under the bus. Right CNN?

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Fav, Colorado

    Please no one dare blame Hillary for this!!

    Yes it's ashame.

    And you all have what you want, your Obama running for president, but PLEASE leave Mrs. Clinton out of this!!

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Steve

    Who's shocked about this needs a little history lesson. I'm surprised that there have not been more since he began his campaign of which I'm sure they've been and we've just have been told. There are a lot of sick, stupid, bigoted and ignorant people out there. They know who they are!!!!.

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. just a regular guy

    If Obama is shot, revolution will happen in America, the world will turn on America, and the American Empire will fall faster than Fox News' desent to hell.

    America and the world is at a crossroads and many can't even see it.

    Stand by.....JEHOVAH is about to stand up.

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Jeremy

    Mr. Matt from Canoga Park:
    Did Jesse Jackson threaten to "kill" or "kidnap" Obama? Careful with your aim there, buddy.

    August 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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