Posted on: Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Man held in Obama threats
Agents arrest Kane'ohe resident for alleged plot to kill president-elect
By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer
A Kane'ohe man was arrested by federal agents last week after he allegedly threatened to attack and kill President-elect Barack Obama during a scheduled visit to O'ahu this month, documents filed in U.S. District Court said.
Mark M. Miyashiro was interviewed and arrested in his home by U.S. Secret Service agents who also confiscated a Russian SKS assault rifle with a collapsible bayonet and several boxes of ammunition, according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint lays out a series of threatening statements Miyashiro allegedly made to a doctor who is treating him in connection with a "schizophrenic disorder," the papers said.
Threatening the life of the president or the president-elect is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, a $100 assessment and up to three years probation.
Miyashiro was arrested Friday and is being held at the Federal Detention Center.
Jean Matias, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service's Honolulu division, declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
At a hearing for Miyashiro yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin S.C. Chang ordered Miyashiro to be detained until his trial.
"He poses a danger to himself, the community and possibly to President-elect Obama and that's why he should be detained until trial," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren W.K. Ching, who is prosecuting the case for the government.
Miyashiro's attorney, Federal Assistant Public Defender Matthew Winter, was off-island yesterday. Assistant public defender Shanlyn Park asked the court to continue Miyashiro's hearing to allow Winter time to argue against detention.
Chang denied the request.
On Dec. 3, Miyashiro's doctor contacted the Secret Service and told them that Miyashiro had made threats against Obama, according to court documents.
Miyashiro, who has been treated as an outpatient for two years, is currently taking anti-psychotic and antidepressant medication, but can "generally function in society" and had at least one job interview scheduled with an "unknown employer," according to the documents.
Miyashiro told his doctor that he believes Obama is a "War-Hawk" and practitioner of the Wiccan religion, the papers said.
He said he would shoot Obama's neck using a slingshot and a marble when the president-elect and his family come home to Hawai'i for the Christmas holiday. If Obama survived, it would "prove that Obama is in fact the Anti-Christ," according to the documents.
Miyashiro said he would find out Obama's schedule and that he would get as close as he could to carry out the attack.
On Dec. 4, two agents with the U.S. Secret Service went to Miyashiro's house to interview him and found Miyashiro "coherent, fully alert, and … in control of his mental faculties," the documents said.
Miyashiro told the agents that he was not the only one out to get Obama, saying the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Brotherhood on the Mainland "were also willing to load a gun and shoot him," according to court documents.
During the interview, Miyashiro told the agents that if Obama were in the room with them, he would take the agents out first and then "punch Obama in the nose."
When asked if he would shoot Obama, he told the agents that he did not have a gun because he was denied a gun permit.
But a search of Miyashiro's residence yielded the assault rifle with a collapsible bayonet attached and the ammunition, the complaint said.
Miyashiro then told the agents that his wife bought and registered the rifle for him. The SKS is a Russian-made semi-automatic carbine, the predecessor to the AK-47, and has a range of more than 200 yards.
He also admitted to agents that he was a "gun nut" who practiced shooting at the public firing range at Koko Head.
Written on the stock of the weapon was a reference to the Bible verse Luke 11:21, which states, "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own mansion, his property is safe."
During the interview, Miyashiro told the agents that he had a fascination with presidential assassinations and with government conspiracy theories surrounding the killing of John F. Kennedy and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.
He also related an incident in the 1980s, when he was present at a TV station during an interview with the wife of John Lennon's assassin, Mark David Chapman.
Miyashiro said he was "intrigued and fascinated" with the fame and financial success Chapman's wife enjoyed due to the publicity from the shooting, according to court documents.
As the interview with the Secret Service agents proceeded, Miyashiro became agitated and told them he was going to attack.
Reach Peter Boylan at firstname.lastname@example.org.