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. Brad

    Obama will not be terrorized. I will not stand for threats upon Obama. He shall be our next president and he shall do a splendid job.

    August 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. tina

    I have been praying for Obama's safety every since he started prevailing. There are some really sick people out there who cannot stand to see a black man do so well. Just look at the history Martin L. King and Malcolm X. It really is a shame.

    August 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Punky

    Obama or McCain ...neither one is right to be our President. They (as well as all the others in the past) will do and say whatever they want to in order to get elected. Since when have we had a president follow through with any single promise he made in order to get himself elected. Who the hell trusts any of them I am Democrat and I still have NO idea who I will vote for. I do not want to see anyone get hurt either but maybe if the candidates tried a little honesty the US wont be where they are today. The US citizens do not trust our government and if we knew all of it we would banish the government all together. Think about in the city where you live I bet yo have no idea of the political BS that takes place there. It does and it is happening. The government (everyone one of them) need to be let go.

    August 7, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Yaymee

    Word from a middle-aged midwestern white woman to racists:

    To judge a person by the color of their skin is simply not acceptable and I won't be polite company by allowing you to make your 'candid' remarks to me anymore. When you say something offensive, I'll respond so that you know that your words and attitude is NOT ok with me.

    I'm tired of being polite just to keep the peace. If you want to be my friend, you will have to adjust the attitude accordingly. If you can't, I don't need you as a friend.

    Be the Change that you want to see. 🙂

    August 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    The October surprise in the offing! Everything is possible in America.

    August 7, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Vegasguy

    I'm wondering why CNN left out the part where he also threatened the President. Curious!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. Andrea

    I was just going to post the same thing..
    Bet he was going to get paid by the Clintons....
    If he picks her as VP.. she is just one shot in the head to becoming President!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Carmen

    I don't like Obama, but I don't which him harm.

    August 7, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    well,isn't that something..............

    August 7, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Rob indetroit

    I can't wait untill he hit's general population!

    August 7, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. Indiana Bob

    Thank you Thomas. Very well said.

    August 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Obvious

    How can we feel pride about our country when our citizens threaten to kill our leaders? I don't think anyone wishes any harm on any presidential candidate, regardless of political affiliation. Hopefully the Secret Service will never stand down a la Kennedy.

    August 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Bobby from MS

    Well Well..... the democratic blogs are threating republican leaders all the time and now it has come back on them. Not so funny is it. Maybe we all should calm down

    August 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. nanunot

    We are about to be tested," liberty and justice for all" and the first black pres.

    August 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |

    "If Obama wins, the country will come together as one. People will get excited about the future, other countries will begin to respect America again, America's respect in the world restored, race relations in the country will impove, new energy jobs will be created, American schools will start competing with China and India."

    ROFLMAO!! Oh yeah, this little news story really proves just how the country will come together! You can't even get all of the Dimcrat Congress Members to support Brobama! And, what has he accomplished while in office? Seems that no one has ever been able to answer that question, since he has been in this little race of his. You just keep worshipping Hussein, and see what socialism is like. We do not need any more Bush people in the office, but even McCain is better than Hussein!

    The only candidate to really care about this country's laws and citizens was Ron Paul! Too bad the media blocked him out, and most of you were too lazy to research his record (he actually has a record, unlike your Messiah, of representing America's best interest and Constitution!).

    If you think Hussien is a good choice, then look at Chicago and the mess they are in. He can't even get the people in one state to "unite" in spirit! You really believe that he can "unite" the rest of the country? So sad!

    August 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Adolf Hitler

    Obama is the answer. What was the question?

    August 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Ray

    And so it begins....what a shame, I hope they put him under the jail and he rots for life or better, make him do hard labor until he begs for death!!!!

    August 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. Mr Old Gray Hair

    And yet we pretend to be better than the rest of the world.

    August 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Matt, Minneapolis, MN

    When saying McCain is to old and may die in office, just remember this guy. There are plenty of crazies out there with guns who are bigots. Do you think they'll like having a black president. I don't care who you are you have to at least realize the fact that Obama's at a higher chance of death than the average president. It's a sad fact that there are idiots out there but hearing all the people talk about McCain's age as an issue, they also need to realize bigotry is an issue.

    August 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Veteran for Obama

    This is not a joke as some suggest here on this board. You people have the same sick sense of humor as McCain. Shut up and go vote for him, but you are sick.

    August 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. R.O.B.

    People like that are going to have to realize that it's not going to be that simple to do that kind of thing in this day and time.

    August 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. si

    remember Barack'ss prayer at thw Wailing Wall.....dear Lord, hear our prayers!

    August 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. adm

    To Matt:

    You are ignorant if you don't know the difference between the Jesse Jackson statement and this nut.

    August 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. si

    remember Barack's prayer at thw Wailing Wall.....dear Lord, hear our prayers!

    August 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. JERRY

    TO:DEB August 7th, 2008 4:35 pm ET


    August 7, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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