A man was apprehended outside a campaign gathering for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic presidential hopeful, in a Los Angeles neighborhood on Friday. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that Adrian Aispuro, aged 44, was arrested and charged with a felony for falsely impersonating a U.S. Marshal.
According to information obtained by NBC News from the LAPD, authorities received a call around 4:30 p.m. local time describing Aispuro as carrying a holstered firearm and possessing U.S. Marshal identification. He was subsequently taken into custody.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was delivering a speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in the Wilshire neighborhood, as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month. He expressed his gratitude to Gavin de Becker and Associates, a private security firm, via a post on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). The firm had identified and detained the armed individual who attempted to approach him.
It was clarified by the LAPD that Aispuro was outside the theater when arrested, and at no point did he display the firearm or threaten anyone within the venue.
In July, Kennedy had formally requested Secret Service protection from the Department of Homeland Security, but his request was denied, as stated by his campaign. The decision was based on the advice of an advisory committee, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ office determining that Secret Service protection was not warranted at that time.
Notably, the location of Friday’s incident was just two miles east of where Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. was assassinated in 1968 while running for president. His uncle, John F. Kennedy, was also tragically killed in 1963 while serving as the 35th president.
In August, the Kennedy campaign made a second request for Secret Service protection, which was also denied. They now plan to submit a third request this month.
According to Secret Service guidelines for the 2024 election, “major presidential and vice presidential candidates” are “eligible” for protection, but it should typically be granted within a year before the general election. Exceptions may be made in extraordinary cases, based on threat assessment and other factors, in consultation with a committee.
The LAPD mentioned that there were reports of a second individual accompanying Aispuro at the event, but they have no record of such an individual involved.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy commented on the incident on platform X, expressing relief that Kennedy was unharmed, saying, “Glad you’re doing okay, my friend.”