Veteran Arrested for Threatening President

Michael Bowden would 'put Obama against the wall and shoot him'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2010 11:05 AM CST
This booking photo taken Nov. 23, 2010, and provided by the Spartanburg County jail, shows Michael Stephen Bowden of Woodruff, SC.   (AP Photo/Spartanburg County Detention Center)

(Newser) – A 78-year-old South Carolina veteran has been arrested after threatening to shoot the president. Michael Stephen Bowden, also a former New York City police officer and fire captain, told a nurse at a Veteran Affairs clinic he "would like to shoot the president then myself." He was arrested after telling another nurse he wanted to kill Obama "because he is not doing enough to help African Americans." Federal agents found 16 guns in his home when they searched it the next day, WYFF reports.

Bowden had suicidal tendencies during an earlier screening in April, but his son says the family was never informed and that the VA didn't do enough to help his father. "The only way he was going to get the help he needed was to act out, because if he didn't act out, they were going to pass him by for another month," he says. "He was acting out. He did not have the intent." However, when questioned about his statements to the nurses, Bowden gave a sworn statement saying, "If I had the opportunity to put Obama against the wall and shoot him, I would."

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