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Man Who Crashed Car Into Federal Building Had Grudge Against Government, Say Officials
A man with a suspected grudge against the government hit and injured a federal investigator with his car before lodging the vehicle in a federal building in Orange County.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, authorities say that 45-year-old Geoffrey Rickner, struck the federal employee with a Mercedes-Benz sedan outside of the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, according to the OC Register. He then crashed the vehicle into a maintenance garage on the side of the building, nicknamed "the Ziggurat" for its stepped pyramid shape. The suspect was then taken into custody by officers from the Federal Protective Service for what is being described as a vehicle assault.
A source, not authorized to speak on record, told the L.A. Times that the suspect was allegedly motivated by animosity towards the federal government.
According to NBC 4, Rickner was seen earlier in the day circling the building and driving erratically, but left the premises after an interaction with security.
The man struck by the Mercedes was hospitalized with "significant injuries," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the Register. Rickner was also taken to the hospital for injuries.
The bomb squad from the Orange County Sheriff's Department inspected the vehicle and the area for explosives after the incident and deemed both safe, before towing the car away.
Rickner is expected to be charged with with assault and potentially other crimes, possibly today.
Built in 1971 for manufacturing conglomerate Rockwell International, the Ziggurat was then used by the U.S. government beginning in 1974. It currently houses offices primarily for the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service, among others.