A man characterized as being an emotionally disturbed person (EDP), who wished to harm a former U.S. president, was nabbed sitting in an automobile with a fully-loaded rifle, a machete and a metal can filled with gasoline. The man, identified as Benjamin Smith, was charged Friday with threatening to kill former President George W. Bush.
The 44-year-old Smith, of Pittsford township in upstate New York, was arrested in Manhattan by the U.S. Secret Service, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan. Federal prosecutors claim Smith said he wished to have a relationship with Bush's oldest daughter, Barbara.
"Bush will get his," Smith screamed as he was taken into custody by U.S. Secret Service agents, according to the criminal complaint. Smith also claimed he was divorced from his wife and wished to begin a romantic relationship with Barbara Bush.
It is a federal crime to threaten a current or former president and former presidents still receive Secret Service protection.
The criminal complaint states that a woman claiming to be Smith mother called police on Thursday to inform them that she discovered a note in her home and that a rifle was missing from that home which she said she shares with her son.
"I'm going to work for George W. Bush and the Pentagon," the note said, according to news stories. "I have to slay a dragon and then Barbara Bush is mine."
Secret Service were successful in tracking Smith to Manhattan through his cell phone's GPS (global positioning system) and they arrested him.
Smith's criminal defense attorney, Peggy Goldenberg, argued during the preliminary hearing that the note and Smith's ravings do not equal 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," U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman said.