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Washington state man accused of vowing to 'kill the president'

August 22, 2012|By Kim Murphy

SEATTLE—A Washington state man charged with threatening the president reportedly warned the FBI of a “cop-killing spree…just over the hill” and said that dying “isn’t frightening…it’s peaceful…you will see.”

The suspect, Anton Caluori of Federal Way, about 20 miles south of Seattle, vowed in the same email, “I will kill the president!!!!!” according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

“You can’t afford to call my bluff,” said the communique, which arrived Tuesday in the general inbox for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the affidavit says.

Caluori, 31, was charged in a criminal complaint with threatening the president and assaulting a federal agent. He made an initial appearance in federal court in Seattle, where his lawyer said she would seek a psychological evaluation. A bail hearing was set for Monday.

“Recent national events are a stark reminder that we must take these threats of death or violence seriously,” Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. attorney in Seattle, said in a statement. “This case had all the troubling ingredients: threats of violence and explosive devices, multiple weapons with hundreds of rounds and even brandishing of a weapon at law enforcement.”

In charging documents, federal authorities said that U.S. Secret Service agent   Bryan Molnar and Federal Way police officer Andy Hensing on Tuesday afternoon cautiously approached the address Caluori had listed as his in the email.

It seemed clear that Caluori would be expecting them. The email commanded: “GET HERE…NOW!!! Or [expletive] THIS PLANTE [sic]…HARD!!!”

Before going to the door, the law enforcement officers spoke with an apartment employee, who cautioned them that Caluori was a “hot head” who had “a temper.”

When they knocked, no one responded at first, but they could hear movement inside, authorities said. Hensing knocked a second time, went outside to check the front of the building, then returned. Molnar knocked a third time.

“Who is it?” someone said from inside.

“Police,” they replied.

When he opened the door, Caluori was wearing a black bandolier filled with shotgun shells around his torso, and a large black knife was affixed to it at chest level, according to the Secret Service agent’s affidavit. Caluori wore a revolver in an ankle holster and held his right hand behind his back, the affidavit said.

“Show us your hands!” the officers commanded.

When Caluori moved his right hand forward, the affidavit said, he revealed a stockless pump-action shotgun with a pistol grip, which he raised and pointed at them.

“Gun!” Hensing yelled, grabbing the weapon as Molnar grabbed Caluori. The officers wrestled him to the ground, they said, but he continued to struggle. Eventually, they were able to restrain and disarm him.

The shotgun was fully loaded and the revolver was equipped with five hollow-point .38 special caliber rounds, according to the charging documents. 

As backup officers arrived and Caluori was being led out of the building, one officer asked him if there was anything in the apartment that would hurt police officers.

”There are things that go boom,” Caluori allegedly replied.

Officers immediately evacuated the residence and nearby apartments, but apparently found no explosives inside. 

In the kitchen, officers found a stockless AK-47 assault rifle with eight 40-round magazines, the charging documents say. On a cot next to the front door --  where Caluori's mother told agents her son slept -- officers found a Desert Eagle .45 caliber pistol with two loaded magazines. 

Under a bed in a bedroom, officers found a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with a Burris scope and a loaded 100-round drum magazine, as well as 14 30-round magazines, eight of them loaded. Elsewhere in the apartment, a bucket contained an additional 50 shotgun shells, a box of 200 rounds of ammunition for the AR-15 and five additional boxes of ammo for the AK-47, according to the charging documents. 

Officers said they also found a large marijuana-growing operation inside a large tent in the back bedroom.

The suspect’s mother told agents that her son “spends a lot of time on the computer” and had other guns in the apartment. She said he “has negative views of President Obama, and in the last few days, most recently that day, has made negative statements about the president,” the affidavit states.

When Molnar asked Caluori if he had any “issues” with Obama, he reportedly replied: “You don’t have a high enough security clearance; call the CIA or run it up the chain of command.”

A search of the apartment confirmed that the email was sent from Caluori’s computer via a Hotmail account, the agent said.

If convicted, Caluori faces up to 20 years in prison on the charge of assaulting a federal agent, and a maximum of five years on the charge of making a threat against the president.

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