Politics & Government

Florida man held over Obama threat

A Marathon man who allegedly threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is being held by federal authorities.

Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, allegedly made the threats during a bail bondsman training class last month in Miami and later at a Holiday Inn Express where the students were staying.

He was ordered held without bail Thursday.

One student from the class heard Geisel threaten Obama, saying, ''If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself,'' according to an affidavit by Special Agent Paul R. Adie of the U.S. Secret Service.

At the hotel where the group was staying, another student allegedly heard Geisel say he wanted to shoot President Bush, the affidavit said. During the investigation, Geisel told the Secret Service agent he did not make threats against either of the men, but said ''if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking,'' the affidavit said.

Geisel let the Secret Service search his 1998 Ford Explorer, according to the affidavit, and agents found military fatigues, a machete, hand-held radios, flashing red and yellow lights wired into the sport utility vehicle and ammunition. They also searched his hotel room and found more than 100 rounds of ammunition, including armor-piercing bullets, body armor, batons, a stun gun, a hatchet, knives, tear gas and a loaded 9mm handgun, the document said.

The handgun had been used on a firing range during the course, Geisel told agents, and he had the knives for protection as well as the hatchet and machete for cutting brush in Maine, the documents said.

When Geisel was arrested Saturday, he said ''he may or may not have threatened the life of Senator Obama but could not remember,'' adding that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the affidavit said.

Geisel's attorney, federal assistant public defender Ayana Harris, would not comment.

Geisel said he had been physically and emotionally abused when he was younger and had gone to a mental health facility in Maine, according to the affidavit.

Geisel lived in Bangor, Maine, until January. He lives on a sailboat in Marathon with his girlfriend.

Material from the Associated Press was used in compiling this report.

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