Woman held in alleged Michelle Obama threat

By Jonathan Saltzman
Globe Staff / December 23, 2009

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A New Bedford woman is in federal custody in Hawaii after calling the Boston office of the Secret Service and threatening to kill Michelle Obama as the president and his family prepared for a visit to that state, according to the Secret Service.

Kristy Lee Roshia, 35, was arrested by the Secret Service Saturday and charged with threatening to kill a member of President Obama’s family, said an affidavit filed by an agent Monday in Hawaii. She was also charged with assaulting one of the Secret Service agents at the agency’s field office in Honolulu.

Roshia appeared in US District Court in Honolulu Monday and is scheduled to return today for a hearing to determine whether she should be kept locked up until trial, said Elliot Enoki, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Hawaii.

Roshia has deluged the Boston office of the Secret Service with phone calls since 2004, when she told agents that she was an assassin whose mission was to kill the president, said the affidavit by the agent, John Woodruff. Nonetheless, she also said she had “no desire to hurt him,’’ according to the affidavit. George W. Bush was president at the time.

Over the next several years, she made angry, rambling calls to the Boston office, sometimes as many as 10 a day, said Woodruff. On Nov. 10 of this year, she allegedly called and told the receptionist, “I will kill Marines’’ and “I will kill Michelle Obama.’’

The Secret Service determined through an envelope Roshia had allegedly previously mailed the office that she was in Hawaii. Agents arrested her Saturday. While in federal custody at the Honolulu field office, Roshia lunged at an agent and struck him in the arms and face, although he was not injured, said Darrin Blackford, a special agent and spokesman for the Secret Service headquarters in Washington.

Roshia, who is being represented by the federal public defender’s office in Hawaii, has lived in several places in Massachusetts, including Chelmsford and Lowell.