NEW YORK – A suburban Rochester man has been arrested in New York City for allegedly threatening former President George W. Bush after declaring his love for the 43rd president’s daughter Barbara, officials said Saturday.
George Ogilvie, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, told the Los Angeles Times that officials arrested the man on Friday on suspicion of violating U.S. Code Title 18 Section 879 on issuing “threats against former presidents and certain other persons.”
Ogilvie would not comment further on the arrest or give the man’s name.
However, Reuters reported that the man has been identified as Benjamin Smith, 44, of Pittsford outside Rochester.
Inside his car, officials found a loaded rifle, machete and container of gasoline.
Reportedly, Smith screamed “Bush will get his” when he was taken into custody. He allegedly told agents he was divorced and “working on a relationship with Barbara Bush,” referring to Barbara Pierce Bush, 32, one of Bush’s twin daughters.
Smith was first reported to local police by his mother after she found a threatening note in the home they share, Reuters reported.
The former president was not in New York at the time of the arrest.
Smith’s attorney, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, told Reuters that the note and her client’s screams are not a “true threat.”