Feds: Kentucky man who ran through Obama roadblock was armed

LOUISVILLE — An Eastern Kentucky man who is accused of running through a roadblock during President Barack Obama's visit to the Cincinnati region this month was armed at the time and has a history of mental illness and criminal offenses, federal officials say.

A federal criminal complaint unsealed in Covington on Wednesday said Kerry T. Prater of West Liberty had three weapons and at least 500 rounds of ammunition when he ran through an Erlanger police road block on Sept. 17. Obama's motorcade passed through Northern Kentucky that day on the way to Cincinnati.

The complaint, written by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agent Ronald Young, said Prater has a lengthy criminal history and had previously been declared mentally ill.

Prater's listed attorney, Kerry Neff of Covington, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday afternoon. Prater is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Covington on Friday.

Young wrote that police erected the roadblock that afternoon. Air Force One landed at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, Ky., about 16 miles south of Cincinnati.

Prater ran through the roadblock and was forced off the road by an Erlanger police officer, Young wrote.

"Prater refused to exit the vehicle and (the officer) removed him from the vehicle," Young wrote.

After Prater was out of the car, the police officer saw a partially concealed .38 caliber revolver on the front passenger floorboard, Young wrote. The officer then found a .223 caliber rifle hidden under a towel on the rear floorboard with four loaded magazines and 500 additional rounds of ammunition.

A search of Prater's car turned up a third revolver as well, Young wrote.

Erlanger police arrested Prater and held him in the Kenton County Jail on three counts of carrying a concealed deadly weapon and fleeing.

A subsequent investigation turned up Prater's criminal history, which includes a six-month jail sentence for assault, a short jail sentence for menacing, a 60-day suspended sentence for harassment, a 60-day suspended jail sentence for assault of a family member, a one-year suspended sentence for carrying a concealed deadly weapon and several orders from judges barring Prater from carrying firearms.

The Secret Service met with Prater's family on Sept. 19, and relatives described him as having a history of mental illness and repeatedly threatening people, including former President George W. Bush in 2004.

Young wrote that Prater had been treated for mental illness and was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

Federal authorities took custody of Prater on Monday. He was not listed among the Kenton County Jail inmates Wednesday afternoon.