Man planned to run down pedes­tri­ans, pros­e­cu­tors say

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Heather Mur­phy

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors Mon­day filed a crim­i­nal charge against a man who they say planned to run down pedes­tri­ans on the Na­tional Har­bor water­front, a pop­u­lar tourist site along the Po­tomac River near Wash­ing­ton.

The man, Ron­dell Henry, 28, of Ger­man­town, Md., was in­spired by the ter­ror­ist group ISIS when he stole a U-Haul van from a park­ing garage in Alexan­dria, Va., on March 26, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice in Mary­land, which has charged him with in­ter­state trans­porta­tion of a stolen ve­hi­cle.

Pros­e­cu­tors say he drove the van early on March 27 to Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port, where he got out and tried, un­suc­cess­fully, for more than two hours to find a way through se­cu­rity. Henry then got back in the UHaul and drove to the Na­tional Har­bor in Mary­land, ar­riv­ing around 10 a.m., they said.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, Henry, a com­puter en­gi­neer, walked around look­ing for an ideal spot for an at­tack. Be­cause the crowds were too thin, he broke into a boat, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, and hid there overnight.

The next morn­ing, po­lice of­fi­cers dis­cov­ered the stolen U-Haul and ar­rested Henry af­ter he leapt over a se­cu­rity fence from the boat dock, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. The au­thor­i­ties first iden­ti­fied Henry through reg­is­tra­tion records left in his BMW, which was parked in Alexan­dria, near where the U-Haul was stolen, they said.

Henry was re­ported miss­ing af­ter he left work around noon on March 26, and his fam­ily was con­cerned about his “phys­i­cal and emo­tional wel­fare,” ac­cord­ing to a pub­lic no­tice is­sued by the Mont­gomery County Po­lice Depart­ment. A spokes­woman for Hughes Net­work Sys­tems, a broad­band satel­lite com­pany in Ger­man­town, said Henry had pre­vi­ously been em­ployed there as an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor. The com­pany de­clined to pro­vide de­tails about his po­si­tion.

Michael T. Ci­taraMa­nis, a lawyer for Henry, did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a call for com­ment Mon­day. A de­ten­tion hear­ing is sched­uled for to­day in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Green­belt, Md.

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