According to federal authorities, Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, of Bismarck, stole a forklift and entered a presidential motorcade route on Sept. 6, 2017, before Donald Trump arrived to give a tax reform speech at a Mandan Refinery.
Leingang was apprehended after the forklift got stuck in a gated area of the refinery. Questioned by police and U.S. Secret Service agents, he reportedly confessed to a bizarre plot.
“The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and get to the president … to kill the president,” U.S. Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell told a federal court on Friday, according to The Bismarck Tribune.
But that’s when the plan went bad. The forklift got stuck in a gated area. He hopped off the forklift and ran, but was quickly chased down and captured by police.
A public defender on behalf of Leingang said that the man was “suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident” and that earlier that day, he had set two fires. I’m not sure what he set on fire exactly.
He entered a plea deal with federal prosecutors and was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing the forklift. He’s also serving time for pleading guilty to starting the fires and for a burglary case, and is expected to remain behind bars for decades.
A sentencing hearing for Leingang is scheduled for Feb. 15.
Hopefully, they don’t let this man off too easily. Threatening the life of an individual is one thing, but to threaten the life of the President of the United States and a much larger matter.