Secret Service shows up at Columbus man’s door after social media comment

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus man got a visit from Secret Service after making an inflammatory remark on a Facebook post last week.

“Hillary and Bernie…Sunday at OSU,” was the post to NBC4’s Candice Lee’s private account on March 7.

secret service manThe post got the attention of Gary Barry, a Facebook friend.

“I jokingly said, ‘where do I send the bomb?’” Barry told NBC4 Wednesday evening.

His comment didn’t go unnoticed by other people responding to the news that both Democratic presidential candidates were coming to Columbus for a CNN Debate last Sunday.

“The next day I thought about it. But I was like, ‘hey, it’s the Internet. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.’ So I didn’t think no more about it till yesterday,” said Barry.

But it was no laughing matter to the Secret Service. Someone contacted them about the post and an investigation was launched. Two armed agents knocked on Barry’s door ready to talk.

“I received a phone call from my son saying there were two gentlemen at the door from the Secret Service. And I thought he was kidding. But he wasn’t and they actually waited for me to get home,” said Barry.

Barry said the agents questioned him and wife for about thirty minutes. The agents knew everything about him, his family, even his father who was firefighter.

“They were asking me if I was a racist, if I was anti-Muslim. And, do I have any thoughts of suicide or thoughts of assassinating the vice president or president,” said Barry.

NBC4 contacted the United States Secret Service officer here in Columbus. They confirm an ongoing investigation in the comment made by Gary Barry. They also admit to questioning him Tuesday.

Jonathan Schuck, Resident Agent In-Charge, said it is standard procedure for social media threats against the President and presidential candidates. It’s a chargeable offense with a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.

The agents left Barry with some sound advice.

“They said, ‘watch what you say on Facebook.’ And even spread that word as soon as they left,” said Barry.

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