Armed Man Allegedly Threatens Bush, Arrested Near White House
W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 4 — A New Hampshire man — who police said might have made threats toward President Bush — was arrested today two miles north of the White House after authorities discovered more than a dozen weapons in a rented car he was driving.
"There was an issue that came up early on about an individual that had made threats that possibly could be toward the president," District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey said.
A U.S. Secret Service source familiar with the investigation said the car contained 10 rifles and six handguns. Although rifles are allowed in the city, local laws prohibit possession of handguns with few exceptions. The source, who asked not to be identified, said the weapons were unregistered.
Jeffrey Cloutier, 33, of Newport, N.H., reportedly rented the white 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier from an Enterprise rental car agency near Philadelphia International Airport this morning.
Cloutier's grandmother told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that her grandson had been having problems recently and has sought help. She said he also sought treatment for epilepsy.
"He needs help and he needs it bad," Marjorie Cloutier said. "I think he was trying to get help and he wasn't getting it."
She said she was not aware, however, of any problems her son might have had with Washington.
She said Jeffrey Cloutier lived upstairs from her in an apartment with his mother, Virginia. The phone in the mother's home rang unanswered today.
The Secret Service issued an unspecified alert to law enforcement agencies on the East Coast providing the license number and a description of the vehicle. The alert raised the possibility the vehicle may have contained explosives.
"The initial search did not turn up any explosives," Ramsey told reporters. The car was stopped in a residential neighborhood of aging apartment buildings.
The investigation is being headed by the Secret Service, although agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were called in to process the vehicle for fingerprints and other evidence. As police surrounded the car, several boxes and bags taken from it were searched in the middle of the intersection.
Cloutier's wife also was taken into custody, but a Secret Service source said she was unlikely to face any charges.
Possession of unregistered firearms and unregistered ammunition are misdemeanors carrying penalties of up to one year in jail under D.C. law. However, Cloutier could face felony charges for any of the handguns if they are found to be operable, said a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which handles most criminal prosecutions in the nation's capital.
Cloutier could make an initial court appearance before a U.S. magistrate-judge as early as Thursday, officials said.
— The Associated Press
Reporters Smuggle Knives Onto 14 Flights
N E W Y O R K, Sept. 4 — In a troubling investigation, reporters for a New York newspaper were able to smuggle several small knives and pepper spray through security checkpoints to board 14 flights over Labor Day weekend at 11 U.S. airports.
Reporters for the Daily News were able to bring the banned item s— utility knives, rubber-handled razor knives, a pocket knife, a corkscrew, razor blades and pepper spray — through every airport security checkpoint they attempted to pass, the newspaper said.