Armed man impersonating US Marshal arrested at RFK Jr. campaign event in California

ByNicholas Kerr ABCNews logo
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Armed man arrested at RFK Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles, LAPD says
An armed man accused of impersonating a U.S. Marshal was taken into custody at a Robert Kennedy Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles, police said.

LOS ANGELES -- An armed man accused of impersonating a U.S. Marshal was taken into custody at a Robert Kennedy Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A spokesperson from the LAPD said in a statement to ABC News that a radio call was generated around 4:30 p.m. local time reporting a man with "a loaded gun in a shoulder holster and a badge stating he was a U.S. Marshal." LAPD officers arrived shortly after and arrested the man. The FBI was also present at the scene.

The LAPD said the man never brandished the gun or threatened anyone.

Adrian Paul Aispuro, 44, was identified Saturday as the suspect, according to booking details reviewed by ABC News. Aispuro is currently being held in Los Angeles on $35,000 bail for a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

According to a statement issued Saturday afternoon from Kennedy's campaign, a private security team interacted with Aispuro ahead of Friday evening's speech after Aispuro insisted that he was a part of the candidate's security detail and asked to be taken to Kennedy "immediately."

"The security imposter, who was wearing sunglasses, appeared to have laid his plans in advance, as he was carrying what appeared to be a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and beltclip federal ID," the campaign said. "The Kennedy campaign is seeking additional information from law enforcement authorities."

The campaign also claimed that the LAPD "took custody" of a second man they allege came to the event with Aispuro, but the LAPD said Saturday they have no information on a second armed suspect.

The police department remains the lead agency on the case, the station's Watch Commander said earlier.

In July, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a bipartisan committee rejected a request from Kennedy for Secret Service protection following an unusually early request from Kennedy's campaign. Kennedy said at the time that his request "included a 67-page report...detailing unique and well-established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats."

Kennedy, whose father and uncle were both assassinated, raised the issue of a Secret Service detail again in his statement on Friday night, claiming he was the "first presidential candidate in history" to be denied protection upon request.

"I'm still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection," Kennedy said.

"Major presidential candidates" do receive Secret Service protection during the primaries but there are a number of requirements that candidates must meet, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Once such requirements are met, the secretary of Homeland Security consults with an advisory committee and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee -- usually from the Secret Service -- and determines if a candidate is eligible for Secret Service protection.

Notably, this is the first time Kennedy has explicitly acknowledged that Gavin de Becker and Associates, whose namesake donated $4.5 million to a pro-Kennedy Super PAC, is providing his security detail.

Asked in July by ABC News if he employed private security following the rejection of his request, Kennedy was cagey about the details despite the presence of men wearing pins with the insignia of Gavin de Becker and Associates.

"I'm not going to tell you my security arrangements for obvious reasons," Kennedy said.