A patient at a Ventura mental health center pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to charges that he threatened to kill President Bush.
Gary James Anderson was arraigned on one count of threatening to kill the President, a violation of federal law that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.
A trial is scheduled for March 12.
Oxnard police had Anderson involuntarily committed at the Ventura County Mental Health Center in Ventura for 72 hours on Dec. 27 after he allegedly threatened bank employees with a letter opener, according to court documents.
Staff there gave him the drug Thorazine and put him in seclusion because he had walked away from the center during a previous commitment, according to an affidavit filed by U.S. Secret Service Agent John K. Helton.
Anderson was diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder and an antisocial personality, the affidavit said.
The affidavit alleged that Anderson, a transient, tried to strike psychiatric workers, who strapped him down.
As he was being restrained, Anderson allegedly told the workers, “I’m going to kill Bush and, I’m not kidding, Mondale too,” referring to former Vice President Walter Mondale.