Tampa Police officer threatens to kill President Bush

by Bill McGinty

Tampa, Florida - Tampa police officer Joseph Mazagwu has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill President George Bush when the President was here in July.

STEVE HOGUE, Tampa Police Chief:
"He apparently went in to a local business and made these comments. It was reported to another police officer and we called the Secret Service at once."

In Federal Court today, the U.S. Atty's office quoted Mazagwu's conversation with a dry cleaning employee on July 15th. Mazagwu allegedly said he wanted nothing to do with protecting the President and went on to criticize the President's policies in both Iraq and Africa. The conversation ended with Mazagwu allegedly saying that both the President and his father, former President Bush, should be shot.

He reportedly went on to say that if he had enough bullets, he'd shoot the President in the head himself.

When we became aware of the charges, we took his gun and badge immediately.

Mazagwu has no prior criminal record and served in the Army from 1991 to 2002 when he was discharged with honor. We told Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the President's brother, about the arrest today.

"I don't have much to say other than that this person must be mentally disturbed to say something like that. I know it's not indicative of the Tampa Police Department because they are a great group of people."

"I am highly disappointed in this officer for saying this and I want to let people know it will not be tolerated."

If convicted of this crime, Mazagwu could face up to five years in prison and would never be allowed to own of have a gun again.