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. OBAMA 08'

    I sickens me to see such people still exist and are willing to go to the extreme of wanting to kill a presidential candidate for there own prejudice reasons. Can that person think about his kids, his wife, his life and not his own judgements of Obama.

    August 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. S F

    To ana I m sure bill and Hillary would love this to happend

    **Personally I don't believe you feel that way .....sometimes it is best not to Comment **

    August 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. bill for barack

    Gee, I wonder who's financing him ...........................

    August 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Thomas August 7th, 2008 4:36 pm ET

    "I bet Hillary put him up to it."

    "Hillary and her supporters will go to."

    "He's probably a PUMA repug!"

    – You people are the ones who need to get a life. Note these comments are why most of Hillary supporters will not vote for Obama…


    Why on earth would any reasonable person allow his or her vote to be influenced one way or the other by taunts and other unreasonable or non-factual things that bloggers say on the Ticker? I can't imagine any greater abdication of your civic responsibility than that.

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

    He needs to go to jail. Such things can NOT be taken lightly.

    August 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Repudrillcans

    That's what you get folks when you are running against the drillcans! They will do anything to stay in power. If they perceive they can't win, they will send a nut job redneck. Especially now that they are in bed with PUMA.

    Si Se Puede
    Obama 08 12

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

    Not surprise at all. I had my bumper sticker of Obama08 for president. This guy drove past me honking horn showed me his finger and flick his hand as if he had a gun and point a finger to his head and showed an "L" sign but keep driving. I wasn't scared but unnerved by his arrogance and hatred. Repugs never surpise me.

    August 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. adam

    I believe right-wing terrorists are more of an actual physicle threat to me and my country than the islamic ones.

    August 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    america has not changed enough to where any amercian can choose to be president or nominee america still brings out color, sexium,hate,when will amercia be able to express freedom to anyone

    August 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. 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 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    Obama isn't even the President yet (even though we all know he will be) and people are making threats against his life! They just know he will be the next President of the United States Of America!
    OBAMA 2008-2016!

    August 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. What if?

    To....Nova from NV August 7th, 2008 4:28 pm ET

    It’s a sad day when someone life has been threaten and all someone like you can do is say mean and degrading things. I hope you and others like you realize how you feel about someone else, they feel the same about you, how you treat someone, that’s the way fate will have someone treat you, and most of all what you WISH on someone else may be a wish for you.

    You demonstrate someone that may need to be evaluated by the secret service also. I am not and have never been a Clinton or McCain supporter, but there is no way anyone with pride, grace and a conscience would pick a story like this to say the things you have said.

    Change will be especially a GREAT thing for people as yourself that only think with a little mind..............

    Dear God Please protect Obama and his family from sicko's like this....

    Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Paula

    I am sure he is not the only one to fear change. Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Wow

    Aww come on people. Obama has been getting death threats from day one (as all the candidates have, esp Clinton). This was a feed from the Obama camp. It's an easy way to get voter sympathy. He's not doing well right now... don't buy this sick hype.

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Dadedi

    This is what Hillary was waiting for. This guy probably tried it for her before and failed. May the almighty protect this son of Change, so we can have the change we deserve in this country. Was McCain celebrating? Does anyone know?

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Republican for CHANGE!

    There are a lot of frustrated and desperate people out there.

    BOTH sides have a lot to fear.

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Rob

    Another nut job who has been influenced by mcBush and liebermans hate propaganda.

    August 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. hill

    Evil fascist neocon thugs who ruled the US just might get tried/executed for torturing, genocide or other war crimes, should justice prevail.

    August 7, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Sharon Walker

    Dear Friends:

    Ohhhh! Boma! I did say I would never warn you! Or protect you ever! Sorry for you!!!!! Tryin to get cryin sympathy vote? Predictable!
    Tell the world woo is me, I you !

    China!!! Our President of our Executive Branch, Our Chief of Staff has shown good faith! He comes unarmed and supportive of the Olympics and our proud American citizens. It is not just about gold, silver or copper it is about their achievement and respective showmanship and leadership amoung the world.

    Now as an American we and I pray for him. God knows my prayer alone!

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and had a great fall!!! All the Kings horses and horsemen could not put Humty together again.
    The threat of terrorism is real and we the American people and nation and our allies and others have been the target. I surely hope by the hair of your chinny chin chin that nothing happens to our President George W Bush Jr and his lovely wife the First Lady Laura Bush.

    Nor any other citizen or Olympian. Nor our allies.
    A threat is not the voice of anything less than a hostile leader and nation. Tears of joy for our successes and tears of fear your anyone or nation that threatens our President and his Wife or citizens.

    I am a Proud American. Cheers for our Olympians. God protect them and bring them home safe and well!

    Lasting Good Health for all the World. Peace Be!!!!!

    August 7, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Reality Check

    If anything happened to Barack, I will personally campaign against Hillary all over this country.

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Daniel

    obama/clinton would be the biggest joke in the world. hi big taxes!

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. CNN loves McCain


    Wow Deb, you are ONE SICK FREAK!!

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Heywoode Jablome

    Perhaps I am going out on a limb here, but the picture I see is. This freak, Raymond Hunter Geisel, lives in a trailer, is grade school educated, drives an old pickup truck, is a member of the NRA, and is an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh.

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Nicole

    I would like to know how many other threats he has received that his campaign aren't releasing to the public. I am willing to bet my life that it's a lot. Very sad!

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

    Typical Florida cracker...

    August 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27