Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, was arrested for threatening the House speaker over her support for the health care bill. The magistrate judge ordered the U.S. attorney's office to determine whether Giusti is mentally competent enough to be released to a halfway house or should be detained.
A man arrested for allegedly threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her support for the health care overhaul cried during his arraignment Thursday in San Francisco.
Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, was charged with making dozens of obscene, threatening and harassing phone calls to Pelosi's home and her husband's business office. He appeared disheveled as he spoke with his federal public defender before the hearing, but made no comment. No plea was entered, and he was ordered held without bail.
Prosecutors said Giusti made at least 48 phone calls to the San Francisco and Washington, D.C., offices of Pelosi between Feb. 6 and March 25. Officials said he recited Pelosi's home address and said if she wanted to see it again, she should not support the health care overhaul bill that since has been enacted.
Giusti left at least two recorded messages containing threats involving one of Pelosi's residences in Northern California, according to an amended complaint filed Thursday.
Pelosi told the FBI the caller had used "extremely vulgar and crude language" on two occasions when she answered the phone at her Washington residence. She also said she thought her family might be in danger.
Giusti reportedly told investigators that he suffers from bipolar disorder. He cried as Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman denied his request Thursday to return to a halfway house. The judge ordered the U.S. attorney's office to determine whether Giusti is mentally competent enough to be released to the halfway house or should be detained. A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday.
If convicted, Giusti faces a possible two-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report
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