An anti-war protester posing as a GOP volunteer at the Republican National Convention got within 10 feet of Vice President Dick Cheney last night as the college student shouted anti-Bush insults.
According to the Associated Press, Secret Service Agent Shannon Zeigler said Cheney “was never in any harm or danger” during the incident at Madison Square Garden.
The 21-year-old Yale student, Thomas Frampton, reportedly was carrying a “Bush-Cheney ’04” sign behind Cheney’s box at about 9:30 p.m. After being told by security to keep moving the man turned toward Cheney and began shouting anti-war statements. According to AP, he then started to climb over a low wall separating Cheney’s box from the walkway and got within 10 feet of the vice president before Secret Service agents tried to restrain him.
Court papers say the suspect swung his elbow at agents as they took control of him and continued to shout at Cheney as he was dragged away and cuffed.
A federal prosecutor says Frampton went through a GOP volunteer-training program and had convention passes and a volunteer shirt, which he was ordered to return.
According to the report, Frampton was released on $50,000 bail and told to stay 100 feet from Cheney and President Bush.
AP quotes defense attorney Henry E. Mazurek as describing Frampton as a model citizen and Yale junior with a near-perfect grade-point average. The protester was scheduled to start the new school year tomorrow.