Police have thwarted a Florida man's plot to take his Jeep onto the Mall and launch fireworks from a homemade contraption on the vehicle's roof, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police said Tuesday.
A patrol officer spotted the red Jeep Cherokee at about 8:30 p.m. Monday in an isolated section of Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda. The officer then discovered a cache of fireworks inside the vehicle, which was "fitted with a turret and multiple [PVC] tubes, from which fireworks were to be deployed," according to the agency.
The driver, Glenn Neff, 27, of Stuart, Fla., has been charged with the manufacturing, possessing and transporting a destructive device — all felonies.
Police Lt. Lauryn McNeill said each carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
Mr. Neff said he wanted to ignite the fireworks on the Mall to draw attention to himself and issues he had with the banking industry, but did not want to hurt anyone, according to police.
Alcohol and drug paraphernalia also were found in the vehicle, police said. Mr. Neff was charged with drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of fireworks and use of a park after dark.
The Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigations Division and the Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to the incident.
Mr. Neff posted an Jan. 18 letter to friends on what appears to be his Facebook account blaming the Federal Reserve for "engineering this financial crisis." He also makes some cryptic references to a big, upcoming event in which he will be involved that will "save the world."
The Facebook page also states he attended Stetson University in Florida.
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