A Federal Way man charged with threatening President Obama on Tuesday was "stressed out" over the economy and his inability to find work and blamed the president, his father said Wednesday.
The father of a man charged with threatening to kill President Obama and assaulting a federal agent and a police officer with a loaded shotgun said his son was “stressed out” over the economy and his inability to find work despite having a master’s degree and spending nearly five years in the Navy.
“I think he blamed the president for it,” said Cecil Bryson, whose 31-year-old son, Anton Caluori, of Federal Way, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
However, Bryson, contacted at his home in Trinity, N.C., said he had a hard time believing that Caluori would ever really hurt the president. He said his son’s arrest on Tuesday, in which he allegedly raised a pump-action shotgun toward a Secret Service agent and a police officer and had to be wrestled to the ground, “is completely out of character.”
“He has no means or any way to harm the president,” Bryson said Wednesday. “He just feels really badly that he can’t move on. It just shows how totally stressed he must be.”
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Bryson said his son also was having a difficult time paying back student loans.
Caluori was arrested at the Federal Way apartment he shares with his mother. Police found two assault-style rifles, a shotgun, two handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition for each in the house, according to charges.
Federal prosecutors allege Caluori came to the attention of federal agents after he sent a profanity-laced email to the FBI stating, “I will kill the president!!!!!” The email included Caluori’s address and rambling warnings that “dieing (sic) Isn’t frightening … it’s peaceful you … will see … ” and threats of a “Cop killing spree … just over the hill.”
When Secret Service Special Agent Bryan Molnar and Federal Way police Officer Andy Hensing showed up at Caluori’s apartment, according to the complaint, Caluori was slow to answer the door even after the lawmen identified themselves. When he finally opened the door, he was draped in a bandoleer “filled with 12-gauge shotgun shells around his torso,” according to the charges. A large black knife was attached to the bandoleer , and prosecutors said Caluori had a handgun strapped to his ankle.
Both officers ordered him to show his hands, but instead he reached behind his back and pulled out a pump shotgun with a pistol grip and pointed it at the officers.
Hensing grabbed the barrel of the shotgun, and Molnar grabbed Caluori, and they subdued and handcuffed him.
According to the charges, Molnar asked Caluori if he “had any issues with President Obama. Caluori stated, “You don’t have a high enough security clearance, call the CIA or run it up the chain of command.”
Bryson, Caluori’s father, said his son was honorably discharged as a petty officer from the Navy in 2005 after nearly five years as a machinist on a submarine.
On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Donohue ordered Caluori detained pending a hearing next week. He told attorney Kyana Stephens of the Federal Public Defender’s Office that he would consider a motion for a mental-health evaluation.
Making a threat against the president is punishable by up to five years in prison. Assault of a federal agent is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report. Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or firstname.lastname@example.org