Clinton herself was attending a National Democratic Committee meeting in Virginia, where she canceled her address because of the hostage situation. She was set to resume her presidential pursuit Saturday in Iowa, December 1.
Leeland "Lee" Eisenberg, 46, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, walked into the office wearing what he said was a bomb strapped to his chest, police said. The "bomb" turned out to be road flares held with duct tape, police investigators said. During the five-and-a-half hour standoff he released five people held inside the office, three women, a man and a baby, before allowing police to arrest him.
Television footage showed a man being escorted out of the building by police late Friday, November 30. Eisenbert is believed to be a local man with a reputation for mental instability. After the arrest, the US-based Cable News Network (CNN) revealed its personnel had been in telephone contact with the suspect over the course of the day, after a hostage in the campaign office called the CNN Washington bureau.
The network said the suspect was complaining about mental health care. He had demanded to speak with Clinton to discuss the health care situation in the country. CNN and police refused to comply amid concerns it could undermine negotiations, the network said on its Website.
CLINTON EXPRESSING RELIEF
Clinton, who had been in the Washington area, flew to New Hampshire Friday night, November 30, to meet with the hostages and their families. At a news conference afterward, she said they expressed "a lot of relief, a lot of gratitude."
"It was for me and my campaign an especially tense and difficult day," said Clinton, who said her campaign had no previous contact with Eisenberg. "It appears that he is someone who was in need of help and sought attention in absolutely the wrong way," she said. . She also commended the courage of the families of the hostages. No injuries were reported.