A Springfield man has been convicted of assaulting a Secret Service agent and a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy after he reportedly threatened former President Barack Obama and other politicians.
Ronald E. Skelton II, 23, pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2016, but later withdrew his plea and claimed he was insane at the time of the attack, according to the Department of Justice.
In March 2015, Secret Service agents and sheriff’s deputies went to interview Skelton at his home due to social media posts that apparently threatened then President Obama.
Tweets posted on his Twitter included “After @BarackObama and @HillaryClinton are cooked Heading over to @JebBush to kill him and daddy” and “After I chop up @BarackObama, remember, @HillaryClinton, My ginsu is coming for YOU!” according to court documents.
Skelton also reportedly tweeted threats about killing law enforcement officers and their children.
When officers approached Skelton at his home, Skelton started yelling anti-government comments and was belligerent, according to the DOJ.
Skelton reportedly swung at a deputy and hit them in the head when the deputy went to check Skelton for weapons. He then hit a Secret Service agent in the face, which reportedly broke the agent’s nose and required surgery.
“The United States Secret Service is dedicated to the safety and security of the President and First Family,” said a Secret Service representative in Dayton. “Threat investigations receive the highest priority of all our investigation and begin immediately upon notification of the threat … Regardless of the threats, the Secret Service always stands ready to continue our mission for those we protect and the American public.”
Skelton could face up to 20 years for assaulting a federal agent and causing harm. Assaulting a law enforcement officer assisting a federal agent carries a maximum punishment of eight years.
“Secret Service agents provide physical protection to our nation’s highest elected leaders,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman. “Working together with local law enforcement, they run down, assess and defuse potential threats virtually every day. It’s a dangerous job, and we have their backs. Yesterday’s jury verdict vindicates the need to provide whatever protection we can to the men and women who protect us.”