CRIME

MPD officer threatened Michelle Obama, Washington Post reports

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

BREAKING 8 p.m.: Several sources tell ABC7 the D.C. police officer being investigated for allegedly threatening to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama is Christopher Picciano.

Mugshots: A rundown on the D.C. region's arrested and incarcerated

Mugshots: A rundown on the D.C. region's arrested and incarcerated 131 Photos
Mugshots: A rundown on the D.C. region's arrested and incarcerated

Neighbors in Picciano's Warrenton neighborhood confirmed to an ABC7 reporter that he is the officer under investigation by MPD and the Secret Service.

Report: MPD officer threatens to shoot Michelle Obama

An MPD officer with the department's special operations division is allegedly being investigated by his own department and the Secret Service for making a comment about shooting First Lady Michelle Obama.

The officer in question, who is now on desk duty and is a 17-year veteran, has occasionally served on Mrs. Obama's motorcycle escort.

The Washington Post says the threats were made Wednesday, during a discussion among officers about White House security.

The Post also reports the officer used his phone to show a picture of the gun he would use.

On Friday, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said she had heard in at least one media report that there was a threat to shoot the First Lady in the head, which was untrue.

Lanier confirmed that there are two investigations into the matter - one conducted by MPD and another by the Secret Service.

If a threat was made, it will be treated as a criminal matter, Lanier says. If it's just a joke, then it's conduct unbecoming of an officer, she said.

She said there's no room for joking about such matters.

Mayor Vincent Gray on Friday also said that there is no tolerance for jokes about hurting the First Lady or the president.

"It's hard to believe that a police officer would do something, say the kind of things" that were alleged, Gray said on his regularly scheduled appearance on NewsChannel8. But, he added, "There's no room for jokes or frivolity when you're dealing with the first family."

Investigators are not identifying the officer.

Sources tell ABC News the remarks, while offensive, appear to be an off-hand comment, perhaps intended as a joke.

"We don't know whether there's any truth to this or not, but it's obviously serious enough to warrant a very intense ... investigation," Gray said.

Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said the agency was aware of the report and was taking "appropriate follow-up steps."

A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama was also aware of the investigation but had nothing to say about it, and he referred questions to the Secret Service.

Typically, in the case of a threat against a member of the first family, the Secret Service interviews participants and witnesses and then decides how to proceed.

Ordinarily, a verbal threat directed at the president can result in a felony charge.

Sources tell ABC News the officer will likely face administrative action, versus criminal charges.

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus