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Man arrested for alleged threats to former President Bush, Mitt Romney

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 8:09 PM EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Secret Service arrests a man in New Orleans for alleged threats
  • The agency says the man threatened former President Bush and GOP candidate Romney
  • A psychiatrist at a mental facility where the man was a patient alerted authorities
  • The Secret Service says the man was arrested in the '80s on similar charges

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A man was arrested by the Secret Service in New Orleans on Wednesday for allegedly making threats against former President George W. Bush and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said William Thomas Driscoll, 66, was taken into custody on the charge of making threats against a former president or a candidate protected by the service.

According to an affidavit, Driscoll "self-committed" himself to Seaside Behavioral Center on February 28. The next day a psychiatrist there alerted the Secret Service that Driscoll allegedly had said he wanted to kill Bush and Romney. Agents went to the hospital and interviewed Driscoll on March 1 and he allegedly told them he planned to take the lives of Bush and Romney once he got out of the hospital and could travel to Alabama to obtain a gun.

Driscoll has been on the Secret Service's radar going back to 1982 when he "made statements that he heard voices which told him to kill then President Ronald Reagan," according to the affidavit, which said between 1982 and 1993 Driscoll made multiple threats against Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. The Secret Service arrested him in 1984 and 1985.

The Secret Service did not provide details on whether Driscoll was still a patient at the mental facility at the time of his arrest.

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