This article was written in the Arizona Tribune
about the arrest of Kevin Walsh who was a political
prisoner being jailed by the Secret Service for
making bad statements about President George W. Bush.
Kevin Walsh had not been charge with any crimes,
but the Secret Service had him locked up in a mental
hospital, saying he was a danger to the public, which is
Valley man held after threat to president
A Phoenix man has been involuntarily committed to a Mesa psychiatric hospital at the direction of a U.S. Secret Service agent who said the man threatened the life of President Bush. Phoenix S.W.A.T. team members tracked Kevin J. Walsh, 37, to Quadrangles Village apartments, 1255 E. University Drive, Tempe, where he was working as a groundskeeper June 21, according to police records. They approached him with weapons drawn and ordered him to the ground.
Walsh reached for a semiautomatic pistol in a shoulder holster and was yelling, "Go ahead and please kill me" and "kill me, kill me," reports stated.
The officers subdued Walsh and took him to Desert Vista Behavioral Health Center, 570 W. Brown Road, where he remained Sunday.
In a telephone interview, Walsh said he has never made a threat against the president, and that he believes he was unlawfully detained by what he called an "ambush" by the police and Secret Service.
"I was arrested and held illegally," Walsh said. "They have way too much power to be doing this stuff."
Walsh said he believes government interest in him stems from his political involvement in posting news and other information on the Internet in support of the "Iraqi resistance."
Walsh also said he believes somebody reported him to the Secret Service after hearing him making comments wishing harm to Bush during a conversation with a Bush campaign worker.
"I said Bush was terrible and deserved to be killed, but I never said I would do it," Walsh said.
There was no other information about the threat in police records. Bush has made frequent stops to the Valley during his presidency, and is scheduled to appear at an October presidential debate at Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University.
Chuck Woolford, a spokesman for the Secret Service, declined to comment, saying the agency never confirms or denies ongoing investigations.
"Iím not going to comment on anything about Kevin Walsh," he said.
Phoenix police records indicate that Secret Service special agent Ray Lebeau requested help from Phoenix police to look for Walsh and that he was in need of psychiatric evaluation. Lebeau also told the officers that Walsh made an unspecified threat on the president.
In two e-mail messages sent to the Tribune earlier this month, Walsh wrote that a Secret Service agent had been calling his home in Phoenix, trying to visit him there and calling family members asking to talk to him.
Walsh said he was refusing to talk to the agent, and that he believed the agent was harassing him.
As a result of his detention, Walsh said he is being forced to take behavioral drugs and submit to psychiatric evaluation.
Walsh said that a hearing is scheduled for Thursday at the hospital, where officials will determine whether he is a danger to himself or others because of a thought disorder, and whether he should be confined for more treatment. If committed, Walsh said he could be confined for up to 180 days at the hospital and required to submit to up to a year of outpatient treatment.
Walsh said he was reaching for the gun to shoot himself, and that he resisted the officers because he feared the police and Secret Service would mistreat him in custody.
Phoenix police have recommended that Walsh be charged with three counts of aggravated assault, saying that he attempted to draw his weapon and shoot the officers.
FREE KEVIN WALSH home Page
Kevin Walsh was a political prisoner who was jailed in a mental hospital by the Secret Service for his anti-Bush statements. Kevin Walsh had committed no crimes and the Secret Service had no evidence to charge Kevin Walsh with any crimes.