A Man Is Arrested Outside Obama's Hotel


OTTUMWA, IA –Local police arrested a man who was loitering in the parking lot of Sen. Barack Obama’s hotel this morning a few minutes before Obama’s motorcade was scheduled to depart.

An officer with the Ottumwa police department confirmed the arrest but refused to identify the man or describe the nature of his alleged offense.

At about 8:30 am CT, an agent from Obama’s Secret Service detail first noticed the man shuffling around his car, which was parked two rows away from Obama’s idling motorcade. The agent walked over to the man and began to talk with him.

As the man pulled out what appeared to be an identification card or a driver’s license, the agent peered into the back seat of the car. A few moments later, two other agents and a patrol officer from the Iowa state patrol surrounded the man. The police officer radioed in information from the man’s identification card.

The man wore a white undershirt and khaki shorts and appeared to be in his twenties . His older model Toyota carried an out of state license plate. He held a flier touting an Obama campaign appearance.

A person familiar with the situation said the man gave officers and the agents conflicting reasons for showing up at the hotel. He allegedly told the officers that he was planning to show up at an Obama event later in the day. It was not clear how the man knew where Obama and his family were staying. The campaign had not disclosed that location publicly.

The agent in charge of Obama’s detail referred all questions to the Secret Service’s Washington headquarters. Obama’s press aides initially downplayed the incident but had no other details and later refused to comment.

Obama was afforded round-the-clock Secret Service protection in April.