The incident took place close to the site where the US presidential candidate’s father was shot in 1968
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose father and uncle were both killed on the campaign trail, had a tense moment at a rally in Los Angeles when a heavily armed man posing as a federal law enforcement officer was apprehended by his security guards.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Kennedy expressed his gratitude for his private security team .
“I’m very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight” Kennedy said in an X post on Saturday, adding that he hopes the administration of US President Joe Biden will grant his request for Secret Service protection, noting that he is “the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection.”
According to a statement issued by his campaign, the man claimed to be part of Kennedy’s security team and told them that he “needed to be taken to the candidate immediately.” Spotting a gun, the security team removed the man from the area and notified the Los Angeles Police (LAPD).
The campaign also claims that there was a second man, who was arrested by the LAPD along with the prime suspect, who had a backpack that contained at least one other handgun, multiple knives, and extra ammunition.
The LAPD confirmed in a statement that they received a call at around 4:30pm on Friday reporting a man with “a loaded gun in a shoulder holster and a badge stating he was a U.S. Marshal.” The suspect, identified as Adrian Paul Aispuro, 44, was arrested and taken into custody. He is being held on $35,000 bond and is facing a felony charge for carrying a concealed weapon.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose uncle, former US President John F. Kennedy, and his father, a New York senator and presidential candidate, were both assassinated over half a century ago, filed an application for Secret Service protection in April, but despite several follow-ups, his requests were rejected by the White House.
In an X post last July, Kennedy claimed that since his father’s assassination in 1968, all candidates for president have been provided with Secret Service protection, “but after 88 days of no response and several follow-ups”, he received a letter from the Biden administration saying that “the protection is not warranted.”
Kennedy’s campaign manager, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, called the decision “shocking and repugnant,” and accused Biden’s office of politicizing the Justice Department and security apparatus.