Posted on September 20, 2004

Advocate Of Killing President Gets Secret Service Scrutiny

AP, Sacramento Bee, Sept. 16

A City Council candidate who once brought a hatchet to a Planning Commission meeting got the attention of Secret Service agents because he distributed fliers advocating the assassination of President Bush.

The agents and a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy showed up at this week’s council meeting after council members learned of the fliers.

“We were concerned that if he came, we should be prepared for the safety of the council and residents,” Mayor Bob Wilson said. Daniel Avila, 25, admitted Wednesday that he handed out fliers at the city’s Oktoberfest celebration stating, “President George W. Bush Deserves to Be Assassinated.” The handbill also called for a sex attack on the president’s twin daughters.

Avila, who didn’t attend the Tuesday night council session, wouldn’t discuss his motives.

“I don’t want to give any clue as to whether I’m serious or whether I’m playing around,” he said. “I just think people need to allow something they don’t like in their society to exist. In general that’s what democracy is all about.”

Sheriff’s Capt. Ken Cozzens said authorities have been in contact with the Secret Service as they monitor the council candidate, who is an information technology specialist and a 20-year resident of the Newbury Park area.

“Judging by what he’s putting out, he’s definitely worth watching,” Cozzens said. “I’m concerned when anybody rants and raves like that.”

Avila first got the attention of authorities when he showed up wielding a hatchet at a July 26 meeting of the Planning Commission. A sheriff’s sergeant regularly attends the meeting.

“People at the Planning Commission were looking at our sergeant to make sure the sergeant was aware he had a hatchet,” Cozzens said. When approached by the sergeant, Avila agreed to put the hatchet in his car, the captain said.

Also in July, Avila spoke at a City Council meeting and held up bumper stickers advocating the killing of the president.

Councilman Ed Masry said an added deputy would be at council meetings until completion of a thorough investigation.

“He’s running for City Council,” Masry said. “We have a situation where these council meetings can proceed without any fear of somebody doing something irrational. Advocating killing Bush and raping his daughters is irrational.”

Asked if he has ever committed a violent act, Avila said he has not.

“But if I did, I wouldn’t be honest about it,” he said.