November 19th, 2009
02:14 PM ET
13 years ago

Judge frees man accused of threatening Obama

(CNN) - A former security guard at a New Jersey airport who was accused of making threats against the president is expected to be released from jail Thursday after a judge determined he is not a threat to himself or others, the prosecutor's office said.

John Brek, 55, of Linden, New Jersey, appeared Thursday morning before Judge Robert Gardner, who, after reviewing Brek's psychiatric evaluation, sentenced him to the 29 days he has served in jail since his arrest in October, a spokesman for the Essex County prosecutor's office told CNN.

Brek initially was charged with making terroristic threats in connection with remarks he allegedly made about President Barack Obama. He denied making any threats, and the judge ultimately accepted a plea deal under which Brek pleaded guilty to two lesser counts.

Sentencing was delayed pending the psychiatric evaluation. After looking at that evaluation, Gardner said he concluded Brek is not a threat to anyone.

The arrest came one day before Obama's scheduled appearance at a campaign rally for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Brek is a gun collector and hunter, and a search of his home and a friend's home last month turned up a total of 70 firearms registered to him, all of which are legally owned, authorities said. When he is released from jail he will be able to submit an application to the court to have the confiscated weapons returned.

At the time of his arrest, Brek worked for a private security firm at Newark Liberty International Airport. He is no longer employed by the firm, FJC Security.

His attorney, Moses Rambarran, said he plans to pursue legal means of getting Brek's job back.

"While the protection of the president of the United States is of paramount concern, the constitutional rights of American citizens cannot be violated in that very important effort," Rambarran said. "And in this case, John Brek's constitutional rights of free speech and the right to bear arms were, in fact, violated. He should have never been arrested"

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. white female

    This is a great example of the justice in this country, you keep letting these fools out of jail to real harm someone in the future. I beleive if he said it, he meant it there is so much hate towards this president from the nuts like Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, and Sarah palin about how he is running this Govt. until it is not even funny, all they do is push all the brain dead haters out the closet.
    I hope and pray God keeps him safe, and help us to prove his kind good work for this country will pay off.

    November 19, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. terry,va

    We better keep a protective bubble around Obummie. I think he should go to fantasy land where no one will take him serious, not that anyone is.

    November 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. CW in PSL

    He better hire a body guard!

    November 19, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Nunya

    What a wonderful article – not a word or link about details of his original offense so that one could have a better background for the topic...

    November 19, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. oncheche

    Well right now he has rights to free speech & to bear arms, will he have these same rights when this administration is through, or will America as we know it be through first?

    November 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. D.

    Threats against the president is the only allowed mention of "terrorism" nowadays?! (I definitely oppose threats like these, as well as other threats by fanatics against the people and the president of the US, but political correctness kills us, and we leave in la la land because of this p.c.).

    November 19, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Abby

    "a search of his home and a friend's home last month turned up a total of 70 firearms registered to him"

    " No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn." – Isaiah


    November 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Expat American

    Was Brek wearing overalls and a 'Country First' T-shirt? It's funny how he works in security....then's not that surprising...I'm sure he does a good job, putting his 'Country First'.

    What a tool....Put him in the crazy house with the rest of the Palin White Trash Slack Jaws...give him a roll of sanitary tissue and throw away the key!

    November 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Dar

    So he basicly just spent 29 days in jail for nothing, half the prople in this chat room could be thrown in jail for the crap they say about Odumbo. If Odumbo gets his way we will all have to shup up.

    November 19, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...John Brek's constitutional rights of free speech and the right to bear arms were, in fact, violated."

    Wow – so the judge takes his word for it that he never said it – he gets downgraded to a lesser offense as a result – and then his lawyer claims he did say it and had a right to say it according to the first amendment – and claims he should NEVER have been arrested??????

    There were witnesses that heard him say it!!! And now, he's back out on the streets and fighting for his job back as a security officer and fighting for his GUNS?? Whew!!

    November 19, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. juliet hartford ct

    i know for sure if that was George Bush life threatened not only would they ock up the person but also throw away the key...why is this person so different ..i'm telling you make sure the president remain safe...i guess we have to keep praying for him, so that nut cases do not get to him first...i think that we need to start taking people seriously when they threatened the presidents does not matter what party their are from ....this country because of democracy more president lives been threatened like its going out of style.

    November 19, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. terry,va

    Isn't great that we have the right to say the president is a jerk? In other countries you could be lined up against a wall and shot.

    November 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Tomeka White

    He should still be locked up. Freedom of speech is one thing, but making a threat against our Commander in Chief is serious and should be treated as such. I hope he never gets his job back.

    November 19, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Lacrosse Mom

    He made a threat against my president! He needs to be charged with treason and then drawn and quartered.

    November 19, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Get Smart

    Again an attack on freedom of speech. If this man only talked then he was arrested for no reason. The court should be sued of this mistreatment of American citizens. But this again is a good show of Obama and his intentions. Don't say anything negative against the moron because you may pose a threat to his getting reelected. WELL GO AHEAD AND ARREST ME NOW FOR I AM WORKING AS HARD AS I CAN TO GET HIM NOT REELECTED. BUT I POSE NO PHYSICAL HARM TO THE MORON WHO CAN'T SALUTE WHEN THE AMERICAN ANTHEM IS PLAYED.

    November 19, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Christian Values

    Bravo Bravo Br Gardner.

    We should have more and more judges like you so killers like these can be let loose and they can perform their noble tasks!!

    November 19, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |