NORFOLK, Va. — A year ago, David Gil Wilkinson was driving boats for the Navy SEALs. Since leaving the service, authorities say, something snapped in the retired chief petty officer from Suffolk.
Stopped for driving more than 100 mph in Southampton County last week, Wilkinson, 43, told two deputies that he was running for president but that first he was going to make President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "pay," according to a court affidavit.
"Can you guys keep this on the DL?" Wilkinson asked the deputies, who were recording the conversation with a hidden video and audio device.
"I'm going to personally execute him and Hillary," Wilkinson said, according to a transcript of the conversation.
Wilkinson said he was upset with the way the president was treating SEALs and, in a continuing tirade laced with profanities, he continued making death threats, the affidavit says.
Inside the car, the deputies found $12,100 in cash, marijuana, prescription medication and an empty pistol box, according to the affidavit. The deputies took Wilkinson to their station, where he became violent, they said. He was able to shift his handcuffs from back to front and broke the handle to the door of his holding room.
The deputies obtained an emergency commitment order and brought him to a psychiatric hospital in Williamsburg.
Two U.S. Secret Service agents interviewed Wilkinson there Sunday, and he continued making threats against the president and Clinton. Clinton, the former first lady, recently retired as secretary of state and is expected to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
The agents said that he became very emotional and that he said he was suffering from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He also told them he owned two firearms.
Wilkinson was released from the hospital Monday. Another patient left with him.
The next day, Wilkinson surfaced again, speeding north on Interstate 295 with the other patient in the car, authorities said.
Wilkinson made calls to the Henrico County emergency communications center.
In one that was paraphrased in the affidavit, Wilkinson said that "President Obama was out and that people needed to die and he was part of a group that would take back America."
Henrico County police caught up with Wilkinson and detained him. The other patient, who was not identified, told officers the ride had been frightening.
The officers took Wilkinson to another psychiatric hospital in the area. Agents said Wilkinson called his estranged wife Wednesday and asked her to bring one of his handguns to the hospital.
Federal prosecutors in Norfolk filed two charges against Wilkinson. Authorities arrested him at the hospital Friday and brought him to the U.S. District Court in Richmond for an initial appearance. A judge ordered him jailed pending a bond hearing Wednesday in Norfolk.
Wilkinson enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and worked for the SEALs for 17 years. When he retired, he was the chief special warfare boat operator, according to his service record.
He faces up to five years in prison on each of two counts of making death threats to Obama and Clinton, if convicted.