An elderly former New York City police officer and firefighter is under arrest for allegedly threatening to kill President Obama. But his the elderly man's son said it was just a cry for help from a depressed man.
According to a Secret Service affidavit, 78-year-old Michael Bowden was undergoing a checkup at a VA clinic in South Carolina last week when a nurse asked him if he had any suicidal thoughts.
"Yes, I would like to shoot the President, then myself," the former U.S. Navy sailor allegedly responded.
The nurse contacted federal law enforcement, and Secret Service agents arrested Bowden the next day at his home in Woodruff, South Carolina. They confiscated 16 guns.
But Bowden's family said he would never hurt anyone. They say he suffers from depression and a heart condition.
"It was his way of getting attention," his son, Kerry Bowden told the New York Daily News. "He figured if he went over the top, he would get the help he needed. He has been struggling with these dark thoughts for eight months, and the VA did nothing."
So he came up with the Obama threat. "He thought that would get the biggest rise, the most bang for the buck. Would he do it? No."
Bowden is being held without bail, and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
According to his family, Bowden was police officer for three year before transferring to the fire department in 1959. He retired on disability in 1975.