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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Threat on Obama had to be pursued

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In 2001, an Evansville man waved a loaded handgun near a White House gate and was shot in the knee by a Secret Service agent.

Secret Service agents, according to reports, interpreted his actions as a threat to then President George W. Bush.

In 1996, a pastor told then President Bill Clinton, "God will hold you to account, Mr. President," referencing a recent veto of a ban on partial-birth abortions. The pastor was detained by Secret Service agents who, again, according to reports, accused him of threatening the President's life.

A recent threat by an area high school student has been looked into as well.

On Jan. 20, as students watched while Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the nation, a Northview High School student was overheard making a verbal threat.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times the student was brought into the Clay County Justice Center, by the students' parents, for questioning.

Acting accordingly, by law, Heaton said his department had to notify the Secret Service of the alleged threat.

United States Code states making a threat against the President is a federal crime and those making the threats may be fined or imprisoned (see information box).

"We investigated it and informed the Secret Service," Heaton said. "Nothing will be done right now."

United States Secret Service Indianapolis Field Office Special Agent in Charge Roger Goods would not comment on the issue per national policy.

Clay Community School Corporation Superintendent Dan Schroeder was unavailable for comment.

No more details were given regarding the case, as the student is a juvenile.

Heaton, however, said people should watch what they say.

"People need to realize if you are going to make comments in front of people, somebody is eventually going to report it," he said. "You're going to get looked at.

"People need to realize in this day and age that things are going on in the world and you make a comment about anything, whether it's bringing a gun to school ... When people hear that, they're going to report it."

No charges have been filed in the incident.

What is a threat?

United States Code Section 871 covers threats made against the President and successors to the presidency.

Section A of the code states, "Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by a letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other office next in the order of succession to the office of the President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Source: law.justia.com/us/codes/title18/18usc351.html.