A Bismarck, North Dakota man reached a plea deal with prosecutors on Friday after a failed attempt in 2017 to use a stolen forklift to “flip” President Trump’s limousine.
The man, 42-year-old Gregory Lee Leingang, was charged with “one count of attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon, as well one count of attempting to damage government property,” according to the Grand Forks Herald.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) December 2, 2018
The incident occurred on September 6, 2017 during President Trump’s speech at the Andeavor Mandan Refinery.
Leingang pleaded guilty to “attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon, that is, a forklift,” the Grand Forks Herald reported.
Prosecutors said Leingang had stolen a forklift in Mandan and taken it to President Trump’s cordoned off motorcade route. (RELATED: Tom Arnold’s Inflammatory Anti-Trump Tweets Prompt Visit By Secret Service)
“The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and get to the president and he wanted to kill the president,” said U.S. assistant state’s attorney Brandi Sasse Russell.
Sasse Russell added that once the forklift got stuck, Leingang escaped, but was later caught by police and admitted his plan to detectives and Secret Service.
Leingang’s pubic defender, Michelle Monteiro, claimed that her client was “suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident,” and is currently seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist in prison.
While federal sentencing is set for February 15, Leingang also reportedly pleaded guilty to state crimes of setting two fires at the the state parole and probation office as well as the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop before stealing the forklift. He was sentenced to a decade of state prison time for the fires, five years for stealing the forklift, and another five years for a separate burglary case, resulting in a release date of 2038.
Sasse Russell is reportedly “considering time served concurrent to the state sentences.”