(P1) Officials in Washington say they’ve ARRESTED a North Dakota man who travelled to the nation’s capital to KIDNAP a dog belonging to President Barack Obama.

(P2) SECRET SERVICE agents INTERVIEWED Scott D. Stockert of Dickinson, North Dakota, at a Washington hotel after receiving information that he was on his way to the capital to kidnap a “pet” owned by the first family. The first family has two PORTUGUESE WATER DOGS, Bo and Sunny. Officials arrested Stockert after finding weapons in his car.

(P3) During the interview, agents asked Stockert whether he had access to any weapons, and Stockert admitted having two guns in his truck. Agents searched the truck and found a shotgun and rifle as well as a MACHETE, a BILLY CLUB, and AMMUNITION. The court document says Stockert was not a registered gun owner and that he was charged with violating District of Columbia gun laws.

(P4) Stockert told agents that he was “Jesus Christ” and that his parents were President John F. Kennedy and actress Marilyn Monroe and that he came to Washington to announce he was running for president.

(P5) Stockert was released Friday but must wear an ANKLE MONITOR.

(P6) The Obama family’s search for a dog to join them at the WHITE HOUSE was widely PUBLICIZED. On election night in 2008, then President-elect Obama said that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, had “earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Bo, a male Portuguese water dog, joined the family in 2009. Sunny, a female Portuguese water dog, joined the family in 2013.

(P7) The dogs have been a regular presence at White House events and have been frequently photographed.

WORDS: 277

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/01/08/secret-service-agents-arrest-man-in-washington-plot-to-kidnap-obamas-dog.html


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Stockert clearly has MENTAL HEALTH issues. Is it possible to tell whether such people are actually dangerous or not?
  3. Famous people need a lot of protection these days. What types of protection do they use?
  4. The main job of the United States Secret Service is to protect the President and other top officials. Is there a similar special agency in your country?
  5. When kidnappers ask for a RANSOM, do you think they should be paid or not?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Billy club
  • Ankle monitor
  • Mental health

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