Federal Way man arrested for alleged threat to Obama | UPDATE
By ANDY HOBBS
Federal Way Mirror Editor
August 23, 2012 · Updated 4:43 PM
The U.S. Secret Service arrested a Federal Way man today after he allegedly threatened to kill President Obama.
A witness said the suspect was wearing an "ammunition belt like Rambo" and was armed with a shotgun when law enforcement arrived.
Federal Way police were called to assist the Secret Service at about 2 p.m. Tuesday. The suspect was taken into custody at the Panther Ridge Apartments, 109 S. 337th Lane, according to police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
The suspect has been identified as Anton Caluori, 31, who allegedly emailed the threats to the FBI. Caluori appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, charged with making a threat against the president and assault of a federal agent or employee. Caluori remains in custody at the Federal Detention Center in Sea-Tac. A detention hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.
Two weapons were confiscated in the arrest. The police department's bomb unit conducted a sweep of the apartment complex after receiving reports of explosives, Schrock said.
The suspect lives with his mother. A woman claiming to be his mother stood outside with other apartment complex residents, including a neighbor who was evacuated from an upstairs unit while police searched the scene.
The neighbor, who did not want to give her name, said the commotion from the arrest sounded like it came straight from a TV crime show. She described the suspect as a quiet and courteous man who didn’t bother anyone.
A woman at the scene, who said she was the suspect’s mother and did not give her name, said she was unaware of her son’s actions at the time of the arrest.
"I hope he's going to get evaluated," the woman said, noting that her son stays close to home and rarely goes out. "Just because he said something doesn't mean he's going to do it."
While watching the news helicopters circle overhead, she added: "He's a human being who made a mistake."
Obama was campaigning in Ohio at the time of the threat.
Caluori's arrest comes on the heels of Brandon Raub's arrest in Virginia last week.
Raub, a 26-year-old former Marine, was taken into custody after local and federal authorities became aware of some of Raub's postings to his Facebook page. One of Raub's posts, cited by the ABC News Legal blog, said "Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads." Those words are credited to the band Swollen Members and its song "Bring Me Down."
Raub was questioned by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and the Chesterfield County Police in connection with his Facebook posts, and was taken into custody by the Chesterfield County Police. Raub has been ordered held for 30 days for a mental evaluation on the former Marine.
Facebook posts were at the center of a story from May 2011, when a then seventh-grader in Tacoma was interrogated by the Secret Service for posts about President Obama.
Vito LaPinta, the young man in question, had posted to his Facebook that he hoped the president would "be careful because there could be suicide bombers" in the wake of the Osama Bin Laden killing that month. In that instance, the controversy centered more on the fact that LaPinta, then age 13, was questioned by the Secret Service without his parents present.
In July 2011, a Federal Court of Appeals reversed a ruling against Walter Bagdasarian regarding an online rant Bagdasarian posted on a Yahoo.com financial site in October 2008.
In the rant, Bagdasarian indicated he felt then-candidate Obama would "have a .50 cal in the head soon" and that someone should "shoot the (racial epithet)."
Bagdasarian was originally sentenced to time served and put on supervised release for two years. He was also put under a prohibition to possess a firearm for his drunken rant in 2008.
Threatening the president is punishable by up to five years in prison, and assault of a federal agent is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Federal Way Mirror reporter Greg Allmain contributed to this report.Contact Federal Way Mirror Editor Andy Hobbs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-253-925-5565 (ext 5050).