Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostages Crisis at Clinton Campaign Headquarters Ends Peacefully

Shortly after releasing the last of at least four hostages unharmed, 47-year-old Leeland Eisenberg walked out of the storefront office, put down a homemade bomb-like package and was immediately surrounded by SWAT team with guns drawn. Clad in gray slacks, white dress shirt and a red tie, he was put on the ground and handcuffed New York Times and Story at HuffPo

Eisenberg had a hostage call CNN three times, and he spoke to network staffers during the standoff, CNN reported after the ordeal was over and all the hostages were safe. Eisenberg said he wanted help getting psychiatric care, but had been turned away because he didn't have the money.

"I need to speak to Hillary Clinton," CNN quoted him as saying. "Something's got to change. Ordinary people need help" with their insurance.

The network described Eisenberg as "well-spoken, articulate and impassioned about his cause" but increasingly agitated. His third phone call was laced with profanities, CNN said.

Eisenberg took the hostages just half an hour before he was scheduled to appear in Strafford County court with his wife for a domestic violence hearing, according to Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover. In divorce papers Eisenberg's wife said the divorce was a result irreconcilable differences and complained that he suffered from "severe alcohol and drug abuse," and that he verbally abused and threatened her. Eisenberg was arrested at least twice earlier this year, once for allegedly driving under the influence and once on two counts of stalking.

Earlier today one news channel reported that Leeland is a libertarian. There's no way to confirm this for now. Also his name change doesn't seem to be explained. His mother's name was Eisenberg so I'm guessing that maybe when she died (he was 21), with his abusive father left to raise him, and the sexual abuse he suffered from the catholic church, he may have decided to take his mother's Jewish name, maybe a grand parents first name.. but I'm only guessing here.

In September 2002, a Leeland Eli Eisenberg, formerly known as Ralph E. Woodward, Jr., residing in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, filed suit against Boston Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law. The suit alleged that around 1982-1983, Father Richard Buntel, a priest at St. Catherine's church in Westford, Massachusetts, would take Eisenberg to the rectory of the church, offer him alcoholic beverages, bring out pornographic material, and sexually molest him.
On at least one occasion, Eisenberg awoke after drunkenly passing out in Father Buntel's car "to find himself being raped by Father Buntel in the driveway of St. Catherine's rectory," the suit said. At the time, Eisenberg, 21, was "in a state of desperation" over his "homelessness, the loss of his mother, and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his violent, alcoholic father."
Cardinal Law resigned in December, 2002 over sexual abuse scandals in his archdiocese, just three months after Eisenberg filed the lawsuit.
Read the formal complaint here. Per Huffington Post

More Details on Leeland
Name: Leeland Eisenberg, formerly known as Ralph E. Woodward, Jr.
Age: 47
Family: Married to Lisa (Warren) Eisenberg, although divorce papers were filed on November 27 citing "irreconcilable differences." At least one stepson, whom he told to watch the news today. Mother died before he turned 21; abused by violent, alcoholic father as a child.
Hometown: Somersworth, N.H.Criminal
History: Has history of challenging the police. May have served time in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.
Legal History: Filed suit against Boston Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law in 2002 alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Father Richard Buntel.
Criminal History: Has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief, domestic violence, and violation of a protective order.
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