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Armed man arrested at RFK Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles, police say

A gunman posing as a U.S. marshal was arrested and taken into custody during a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed Saturday.

Police were contacted around 4:30 p.m. PT Friday about a man with “a loaded gun in a shoulder holster and a badge indicating he was a U.S. Marshal,” a spokesperson said. the Los Angeles Police Department to the Washington Post. LAPD officers arrived a short time later and arrested the man, who police identified as 44-year-old Adrian Paul Aispuro. He remained in custody Saturday in lieu of $35,000 bail, police records show.

Kennedy posted a message about the incident onformerly known as Twitter, thanking his private security guards at Gavin de Becker and Associates, who first “spotted and arrested an armed man” who attempted to approach him during a campaign speech scheduled for Hispanic Heritage Month at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. .

Kennedy’s campaign said in a statement that the man claimed to be part of the candidate’s security team. The man told Kennedy’s private security “that he needed to be taken to the candidate’s house immediately.” Security officers noticed that he was carrying a firearm, surrounded him and notified the police, according to the press release.

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The suspect’s brother, Raymond Aispuro, said in a telephone interview that he drove Adrian Aispuro to what he thought was a private security job. Adrian Aispuro had previously worked as an emergency medical technician and in private security, but was currently unemployed, his brother said. After Aispuro approached a guard who was checking people in at the event, he was asked to wait outside.

“My brother backed up a few feet and that’s where he stayed the whole time, and a few minutes later the cops came,” Raymond Aispuro said. The police then arrested him and took the two men to the station for questioning.

He said he and his brother were Trump supporters but were not motivated by any animosity toward Kennedy. Raymond Aispuro said his brother “doesn’t care about Robert Kennedy when it comes to trying to hurt the man or his political position.”

It was not immediately clear whether Adrian Aispuro had an attorney.

After Kennedy’s father, Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Los Angeles after winning the California Democratic primary in 1968, Congress changed the law to extend Secret Service protection to major presidential party candidates and to their spouses.

Kennedy complained about the lack of intelligence, even though many candidates in modern presidential primaries never receive information. this protection because they are not considered “major” candidates.

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In his message on X Friday evening, Kennedy again said he hoped “President Biden will grant me Secret Service protection.” However, it is not up to the White House or the Secret Service itself to make such a decision.

The Secret Service generally provides full-time protection only to “major party candidates” who meet certain voting and campaign thresholds, and only within one year of Election Day, after being authorized by the Secretary of the Department of Justice. Homeland Security and by an advisory committee created. composed of congressional leaders.

“Protection under these guidelines should only be granted in the year preceding the general election,” according to the Secret Service website. “Protection more than a year before the general election should only be granted in extraordinary circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the commission, based on a threat assessment and other factors.”

During the 2008 campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama obtained Secret Service protection in May 2007, well before he was the Democratic presidential candidate, due to threats directed against him.

“Although Mr. Kennedy is not currently under Secret Service protection, we have been informed by the LAPD of the man who was arrested for impersonation at Mr. Kennedy’s event last night,” a statement said. a secret service spokesperson said on Saturday. “We understand that no one was injured and LAPD officers did an excellent job quickly determining the man was an imposter.”

Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.


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