Nov 30, 2007

Leeland Eisenberg, Clinton Campaign Office Hostage Suspect

Leeland Eisenberg, showing reporters how he found a warning notice in his vehicle that was left behind by a Rochester police officerLeft: AP photo of Leeland Eisenberg, showing reporters how he found a warning notice in his vehicle that was left behind by a Rochester police officer in March 2007

Leeland Eisenberg, who held at least five campaign workers hostage this afternoon at a Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, NH, surrendered to police at 6:15 this evening. Cable news caught live the arrest with Eisenberg, in a white shirt and red tie, emerging from the building, dropping to his knees, then being handcuffed and whisked away.

The 46-year-old Eisenberg, who lives in Somersworth, NH, was scheduled to appear at Strafford County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. today with his wife Lisa (Warren) Eisenberg for a final domestic violence hearing.

From the Rochester Times:
Divorce papers filed on Nov. 27 indicated Eisenberg was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, domestic related, and violation of a protective order. In the papers, Warren said the divorce was a result irreconcilable differences and complained that Eisenberg suffered from "severe alcohol and drug abuse, several verbal abuse and threats."
Eisenberg filed suit in 2002 against the Archdiocese of Boston, alleging that he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest. The lawsuit filings indicate that Leeland Eli Eisenberg was a 21-year-old homeless man, living in abandoned cars, when he was purportedly molested on numerous occasions by the priest.

The documents also list an alias for Eisenberg of Ralph E. Woodward, Jr. Court documents from Massachusetts also describe Leeland Eisenberg as an inmate at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections facility in Bridgewater, MA in 1999.

Leeland Eisenberg was also arrested on a DUI charge 11 June 2007.

Eisenberg told hostage negotiators today that he wanted to contact Senator Clinton to complain about his mental-health treatment. Eisenberg also reportedly called CNN during the standoff and and talked to network staffers.

There is still no word from media or government sources on the mystery over earlier reports providing two different names - Troy Alan Stanley and Leeland Eisenberg - as the possible suspect. The information attributed to the people identified as relatives of a Troy Alan Stanley coincides with what is known about Eisenberg, who reportedly has used a number of aliases in the past.

Eisenberg got into an argument with local police in March over their efforts to place warning flyers in unlocked cars, which police commenced in order to reduce auto thefts. The flyers reminded targeted individuals to make sure that they locked their car doors. Eisenberg complained that the campaign was a violation of property rights and was in conflict with the Fourth Amendment, which guards against illegal searches and seizures.

"It's an outrage, it's an absolute outrage," Eisenberg told WMUR television, adding that he planned to demand that state and federal authorities investigate the Rochester police. "That's a crime. They violated my civil rights and the rights of many citizens in this city that are not even aware of it."

Rochester resident Melissa Picard took issue with the "antics" of Eisenberg, and defended the local police in a 20 March 2007 letter to the Foster's Daily Democrat:

Rochester police get slap in the face

To the editor:

The Rochester Police Department was trying to be proactive and help the citizen’s of Rochester from thieves and what they got was a slap in the face.

For every minute that Capt. Dumas has to spend dealing with the antics of Leeland Eisenberg it is one less minute he has to spend helping someone with something important. Mr. Eisenberg is wasting the time and the money of the taxpayers.

Police officers risk their life every day helping people, and to make them question if they should put a piece of paper in a car is just wrong.

Why can’t people focus on the important things?

Melissa Picard



Anonymous said...

The accompanying picture was from an article about Eisenberg's objection to the police placing public warnings in unlocked vehicles. In the picture he's pointing to one such notice.

Eisenberg's contention was that it was just an excuse for police to conduct a warrant-less search of autos.

John said...

This is all just so crazy and so sad. It has forever traumatized innocent people, further stigmatized those who have suffered mental illness (I want to make a distinction here between those who suffer and persevere and those who are absolutely crazy, with Eisenberg obviously being the latter), and has interfered greatly with the political process. I am just so socked and sorry for all those involved in the situation. I also think that law enforcement did an outstanding job of coxing this crazy lunatic out. We definitely have some of the best personnel in world serving our country and putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. We shouldn’t necessarily support Hillary because of this incident, but we do need to put politics aside when it comes to supporting those who were traumatized as well as those who admirably responded to this horrible, horrible situation.

microdot said...

But "Leeland" was simply a plant by the Hillary campaign. Isn't it obvious? Gadfrey, these Democrats are so desparate for votes.
Too bad that they have to resort to tactics like this, when honest Republicans are busy training for their upcoming appearances on Dancing With The Candidates!

-Sepp said...

Nutcase...yeah, that about sums this guy up.

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