POCATELLO, Idaho - Members of the Secret Service were in eastern Idaho this week to pick up a videotape of Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, the man police believe fired shots at the White House. In the tape, Ortega claims, among other things, to be the second coming of Christ.
Ortega doesn't mention anything about violence against the president, but he paints himself as a man who has no trust in government. The student who shot the video, Idaho State University mass communications student Ramon Bailey, said he had no idea what Ortega was like until he filmed him.
"My name is Oscar Ortega. I'm from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and I feel like I'm the perfect person to be casted onto your show," Ortega said at the benign beginning of his 48-minute testimonial filmed at Idaho State University in September. On the tape, Ortega is trying to be cast onto a show made by Oprah Winfrey.
But once he gets going, things get weird.
"You will see that these people like Nostradamus talk about one male -- in clear English -- as if they were trying to send a message through time," Ortega said. "But when I first saw that, there was no doubt in my mind that the message sent through time was solely for me."
Bailey said he met Ortega at a gym in Idaho Falls. When Ortega found out Bailey was a communications student who worked in the school's television studio, he asked Bailey to help him film a "commercial." Bailey said he hesitated, but gave in when Ortega wouldn't stop calling him.
"My reaction was just like, what is going on this guy's head? Obviously he's off his rocker. He's not there."
Bailey was so disturbed by the whole thing that he never edited the video and didn't return Ortega's calls, Bailey said.
"I don't want to have an affiliation that I was, like, really good friends with this guy, because I wasn't. I was just trying to be a nice college student, trying to work towards a degree in my field and just trying to better myself, but obviously it backfired," Bailey said.
Bailey feels dragged into a strange situation by a man who clearly needs help, he said. Bailey has been subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury at a district court in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22.
"It's not just a coincidence that I look like Jesus. I am the modern-day Jesus Christ that you all have been waiting for. So I ask you, Oprah -- better yet, I'm begging you, Oprah -- please cast me onto your show," Ortega said, bowing down in front of the camera. Just before the video ended, Ortega stood up and walked out of the frame.