As long as there have been rulers there have been assassination attempts. The Secret Service is tasked with thwarting these attacks, and they do, regularly. Yet there’s always something new out there that they haven’t specifically trained for. Like forklifts. A new report says President Trump survived an assassination attempted with a forklift.
The incident occurred in North Dakota. Trump was visiting the Andeavor Refinery in Mandan on September 6 to talk about his plans for tax reform.
While hardly the hotbed of sedition, the state is home to Lee Leingang, 42, who stole a forklift with the hopes of killing President Trump.
Gregory Lee Leingang stole a forklift and drove it onto the presidential motorcade route.
Court documents said Leingang attempted to use the forklift as a “deadly and dangerous weapon.”https://t.co/T5VlOrin0D
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) December 2, 2018
“Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell says Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, stole the forklift and made his way to the motorcade route before Trump arrived to speak at a refinery in Mandan on Sept. 6, 2017,” Fox writes.
“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,” Russell explained in court Friday.
Leingang has accepted a plea deal that says he was “attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon.”
Like many would-be-assassins, Leingang wasn’t proficient with his chosen weapon. He got the forklift stuck during the attempt. Without his weapon of choice, and with no other way to flip a presidential limo, Leingang fled the scene.
It didn’t take police long to find him, and was arrested. When police interrogated him, he admitted his plan. In addition to the forklift incident, Leingang reportedly admitted that he had started two fires–one at one at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop and the other at a state parole and probation office.
Public defender Michelle Monteiro says her client was “suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident.” She claims his treatment in prison has helped.
“He received 15 years for those crimes and five years for an unrelated burglary charge. Leingang will be sentenced on the federal charges Feb. 15,” Fox notes, “and Sasse Russell says she is considering making the federal sentence concurrent to the time he is serving on the state charges.”