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Man with rifle, machete arrested for threatening ex-President Bush

George W. Bush

(Reuters) - A New York man sitting in a car that had a loaded rifle, machete and a container of gasoline was charged on Friday with threatening to kill George W. Bush after professing a romantic interest in the former president's oldest daughter, prosecutors said.

Benjamin Smith, 44, of Pittsford in upstate New York was arrested in Manhattan by the U.S. Secret Service, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

"Bush will get his," Smith screamed as he was taken into custody, according to the complaint. Later, when asked about his marital status, he told agents he was divorced and "working on a relationship with Barbara Bush."

At a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Griswold told U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman the government believes Smith was referring to the former president's daughter and not Bush's mother, who shares the same name.

It is a crime under federal law to threaten a current or former president.

On Thursday, the man's mother called police to report she had found a threatening note in the home she shares with her son and that a rifle was also missing, the complaint said.

"I'm going to work for George W. Bush and the Pentagon," the note said, according to the government. "I have to slay a dragon and then Barbara Bush is mine."

The Secret Service tracked him using his cell phone to Manhattan, where they arrested him early Friday morning. It was not clear why Smith went to New York City or where the former president and his family were at the time.

Smith's defense lawyer, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, said the note and Smith's outbursts did not constitute a "true threat."

The judge also conceded it was "unclear" a jury would find Smith guilty.

"Admittedly, there is some inconsistency in the notion that the way to win Barbara Bush's affections is to kill her father," Pitman said.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Edith Honan and Lisa Shumaker)

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TnT February 01 2014 at 6:21 PM

Nut case!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
BOB MONTMORAN February 01 2014 at 6:23 PM

This is just another nut case. There is so many mental cases on the loose its scarey. How to get them off the street is a big problem, but until this is recognized as a real threat we are all volnerble.

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1 reply
sadiemae1214 BOB MONTMORAN February 01 2014 at 6:28 PM

All VULNERABLE? Only the famous ones.

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Claire February 01 2014 at 6:25 PM

This man needs help asap- ask his mom what se thinks.????

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1 reply
Doug Claire February 01 2014 at 6:32 PM

This man should go to prison for missing the chance to rid us of President Dumba$$.

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1 reply
DeadManWalking Doug February 01 2014 at 6:45 PM

Sorry Doug, but he wasn't after Obummer, he was after Bush. Your fearless village idiot from Kenya is safe for another day.

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dazedboy420 February 01 2014 at 6:33 PM

Why did he mean slay a dragon for what? He said work did he mean war?

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dazedboy420 February 01 2014 at 6:33 PM


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barbara February 01 2014 at 6:35 PM

God bless that mother. To turn in your child would be difficult but she knew had to be done.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
BIGDADDY JIM February 01 2014 at 6:39 PM

Another wacka doodle that voted believes the Left wing nonsense & Progressive?

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1 reply
laura BIGDADDY JIM February 01 2014 at 6:58 PM

Right, Big Daddy (Read any Tennessee Williams lately?) Liberals who despise guns and the NRA definitely will carry around loaded weapons and machetes to make their liberal political statements. You slay me... oopppsss.... LMAO!

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macrigs24 February 01 2014 at 6:43 PM

It's unfortunate but the crazies in this world are a dime a dozen and getting cheaper everyday.

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GAIL February 01 2014 at 6:53 PM

It is never an "Ex-President," it is always a "Former President."

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1 reply
Brnsy GAIL February 01 2014 at 6:54 PM

only in new york, what an asstool !

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1 reply
atokageneral Brnsy February 01 2014 at 6:58 PM

...glad you finally figured where you came from wonderboy.

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Gloria February 01 2014 at 6:54 PM

There are sicko's in this world and the sad thing is that their voices speak loud and clear. The sane people have no voice because they are stymied by the media.

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1 reply
emack150 Gloria February 01 2014 at 7:01 PM

Wrongdoers seem to be outspoken and exonerated from their crimes. However, people who do good seem to be calm and mute. That is why this world is the way it is.

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