A former West Chester Twp. bartender is being detained at a federal medical facility in Massachusetts after being arrested for plotting to kill U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.
Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, of Matson Avenue in Deer Park (a Cincinnati suburb), allegedly “threatened to murder John Boehner” by shooting him, according to a federal complaint and arrest warrant filed on Nov. 6. Hoyt, a former bartender at Wetherington Country Club in West Chester Twp., had also made threats to poison Boehner’s drink at the club.
Neighbors of Hoyt’s who were home on Wednesday declined to comment. One, who did not want to be identified, said Hoyt is a “good guy” who always helped his neighbors. “I think it was a surprise for everyone in the neighborhood,” he said.
Hoyt told authorities that “voices in his head” told him that Boehner is the devil, and he needed to expose him, according to the federal court documents.
The alleged plot to kill Boehner started to unravel when Hoyt called 911 on Oct. 29, the day he was fired from his bartending job at Wetherington Country Club, where Boehner is a member. He only provided the 911 operator with his first name and asked the operator to “tell his father that he was sorry.”
That prompted local law enforcement officers to go to his home and talk with him, and that’s when Hoyt told police about his issues with Boehner. Hoyt admitted to having a loaded Beretta .380 Automatic handgun, “and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off,” according to court documents. He also keeps another firearm — an SKS, which is a rifle — “in the corner of his bedroom.”
Hoyt also told police, and later federal investigators in the psychiatric ward at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, that he regretted that “he did not have time to put something in John Boehner’s drink.”
He told Capitol Police special agents that “he often poured drinks for Boehner and could have already put something in his drink, but he did not.” He told agents that no one checks the drinks poured for Boehner, “and it would have been very easy to slip something into his drink.”
According to the affidavit by Capital Police Special Agent Christopher Desrosiers, the Capitol Police — which provides Boehner’s personal protection detail — and the Cincinnati office Federal Bureau of Investigations “believe Hoyt poses a current and ongoing credible threat” to the West Chester Twp. Republican who was just re-elected to a third term as Speaker of the House.
During the course of the investigation, Hoyt claimed Boehner and others at Wetherington Country Club — which is within the subdivision where Boehner lives — got him fired. Court documents indicate Hoyt often asked Boehner about political issues, including the Ebola virus, but was always ignored. Hoyt also apparently wanted to arrange a meeting between the speaker, a club member known as “Dr. Bob” and President Barack Obama to talk about the Ebola virus.
He then told police and federal investigators “he was Jesus Christ and that he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner was responsible for Ebola.”
Eight days after their first contact, and a week’s worth of investigation — which included authorities searching his home in Deer Park, which is a Cincinnati suburb in Hamilton County, and an interview with his mother and search of her Hebron, Ky. home — police arrested Hoyt. He was ordered for psychiatric evaluation and was sent to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at the Devens Federal Medical Center in Massachusetts, according to records.
Hoyt sent Boehner’s wife, Debbie, an email on Oct. 28, the day before he was fired, saying he could have “poisoned his wine” but did not. Debbie Boehner responded to the email with one line: “What’s this all about?”
Boehner spokeswoman Kara Hauck said the speaker “is aware of this situation, and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police, and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts.”
Court records show that Hoyt had previously been treated for a psychotic episode about two years ago where he was “under significant stress.” He was having issues at work and was “jumped” by several people for unknown reasons. At that time, Hoyt was taken to West Chester Hospital where he was prescribed psychotropic medication, which he stopped taking after about six months.
Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall said that “Butler County breathes a sigh of relief” that Boehner is fine and at work serving the public.
“Our prayers are thankful for John’s health and wellness, for law enforcement that does its job so well, for the former bartender and his family as they seek to get him the obvious psychiatric help that he needs, and for continued protection for John and all of our public officials in an unpredictable world,” he said.