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. Nobama

    Killing some1 is absolutely ridiculous. But whatever happened to freedom of speech. He can talk all he likes, its not like he actually committed a crime. Also race relations have always been a soft topic in US. If obama comes to power it will be worse than they ever were. A man who uses race (obama) to scare folks should never run for president. Marching to hell with Mccain is a better option than living through a civil war which obama is trying to instigate.

    August 7, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Carl

    It's ashame that we live in a country where people can be so ignorant and racist to hold back progress and peace in the hope for a better country. It is my true hope that when Barack is elected, thing start to change for the better. In that way, Obama really does represent hope in my eyes.

    August 7, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. Good should prevail

    One evil man (woman) can kill all the good in the world. Remember the comments of Mike Huckaby (about gun) and Hilary ( Robert Kennedy and his nomination in June.).
    Some imply and some are outspoken. The implied ones should be locked up too.
    This is why America should elect Obama as the next president of USA.
    We lost so many good leaders already.
    God keep Obama and his family safe and protected.

    August 7, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. linda from South Dakota

    omg,,, theres alot of sick people in this world and this one and those connected with him should be locked up and throw the key away,, hopefully this isnt a joke from the republicans,,,, may god keep obama and his family safe,,, anericans need to really pull together after this stunt,,,, im still for obama now and in 12,,, yes we can,,,, and we will no matter what,, someone out there is really upset with bush,, and its no wonder,,,,,,, its really time for change,,, go obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! be safe

    August 7, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. Swimfast

    As a Hillary supporter, frankly I CANNOT believe some of you actually think this has anything to do with her. I am a lifelong democrat and am not against Obama, but carefully weighing my options. I am horrified that this happened and certainly hope that nothing more occurs. However, some of you Obama supporters are really making me rethink my vote. Keep on bashing the Clintons and see what happens.

    August 7, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. host-face-Killah II

    Will Obama face Malcolm X's faith??
    Is racism stronger than "Democracy"??

    August 7, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. victor

    people are so racist in this world. This country is one of the most evilest countries in the world. anybody who would want Mcain or any other republican for president is either sick, stupid or just plain hateful.

    August 7, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Latina for obama(NJ)

    how sick!! May God protect you and your familiy Mr Obama, you are in my prayers.

    obama 08

    August 7, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Tony, Miami

    They won't let him win and they will do anything in their power even killing him or they will arm a psycho to eliminate him like for the Kennedys. They will push their supporters to create a diversion and have the job done. But as they say the human proposes and GOD decide.

    August 7, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Floridian for Obama

    As a Floridian, I will vote for Obama. I know I'm not the only one.

    August 7, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. Mary

    We must all stand together to keep him safe.

    August 7, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Chris

    Hollowpoint: The original story was only a few sentences long. It didn't even mention the stash of weapons that the guy owned. Add that to the fact that Obama was actually campaigning in Florida when they arrested the guy. Bush was in Maine! He was not a credible threat to Bush. If CNN wanted to hide something, they wouldn't have linked to the affidavit. You will notice that now CNN has had time to expand the posting and it mentions Bush. I am guessing your name is a reference to your opinions. You certainly do make a hollow point.

    August 7, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Kitty

    Why! This is a Good American Man! Sen Obama We Love You! Please not HATING on this Good Man, and his Beautiful Family ! We're Proud of Him I'm a supporter, and he has SUPPORTERS, he's not a celebrity! Sen Obama has worked hard to get where he is, and he and his family has given alot! I'm So Proud of Him! Ohio LOVES THE OBAMAS! THIS MESSAGE WAS APPROVED MY ME!

    August 7, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. shannon

    OBAMA IN 2008/2012

    August 7, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. simone NY

    america, we do not need this sort od temperament. we have to respect people for who they are, despite their color, creed, race, religion. let's come together as one.

    obama is the msn of the 21st century. as the next President of United States of america, he will bring about peace and solidarity among all people.

    for that idiot, he cannot cannot put his foot into Obama's shoes. he shows that his intelligenence is lesser than an ant. period. probably an ant is smarter than fool.

    I sincerely pray for Mr. Obama's safety and his family.

    August 7, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Dood

    Just another reason not to vote for Obama.

    We don't need this type of aggravation on a daily basis.

    August 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. Jody Monroe

    I guess that blows a hole in the theory that "Black people aren't subject to extreme racial hatred in America."

    And for every racist red-neck they catch, there are thousands more. I'm white, so I know what is said behind closed doors.

    And that's only the vocal, violent few. The rest of the racists make excuses not to vote for Obama, such as "he's elitist", "he's inexperienced", "he's muslim" ETC.

    August 7, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. The truth will set you free!

    Ummmmm, is this guy friends with the Clintons or Jesse Jackson?

    August 7, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. THe HeiR

    Oh no! Not the Messiah! What ever will we do if we are parted from his wisdom ..... and uhs and ahs and eeeh and ehs and gaffes and hollow speeches. Get over yourselves people.

    August 7, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Risk

    Obama is taking a big risk and putting his neck out for tUSA.
    In 4 years time, he accomplished so much and put USA on the world stage by solo performance. God Bless president OBAMA and his family. .

    August 7, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Jocelyn

    I am glad to know that so many understand the power of prayer. God knows all, sees all, and surely will place his angles above, below, and around Senator Barack, Michelle and the girls.
    It is good to see even republicans, don't want harm to come to a man who's only desire is to unite and serve the people of these United States of America.

    August 7, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Astounded

    I'm glad so many of you are sending up prayers for Obama as am I... but I find it sad that no one seems to care he threatened our sitting president. Prayers to George W. as well.

    August 7, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. lindsayyy

    like wow. GOd bless. thats ALL that needs to be said.

    August 7, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. smoothy

    And he is not even president yet....The Secret Service needs to give Obama triple protection if he becomes president.

    August 7, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Jocelyn


    August 7, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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