WASHINGTON – A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a stolen car and was arrested after stating “there’s a bomb in the trunk,” later told authorities that the object in the trunk was an asteroid and that he communicates telepathically with the president.
According to a court document filed Monday, 29-year-old Sean Patrick Keoughan of Roanoke, Virginia, approached the checkpoint at 10 p.m. Saturday and said he had a meeting with President Donald Trump. Officers found no record for a meeting and Keoughan left. He approached again at 11 p.m. and made the statement about the bomb. He also said “this is a test,” according to the document.
Keoughan was arrested and has been charged with threatening and conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive. The charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors said in a statement that at a Monday court hearing Keoughan was ordered held in jail until another hearing Thursday. A mental health screening was also ordered. Keoughan’s attorney, Dani Jahn, a federal public defender, declined to comment when reached by telephone Monday afternoon.
Asked by Secret Service agents whether there was a bomb in the car Keoughan stated “that he had a very large, heavy bag in the trunk of his car with an asteroid in it,” according to the court document. He also told Secret Service agents that the president had given him the car he was driving as well as the bag with the asteroid and told him to say there was a bomb in the trunk, the court document says. The document says Keoughan said Trump speaks to him telepathically. He also told agents that he has received psychiatric care in the past and used “every drug.” He called himself a “peaceful hippie” who does not own weapons or have access to them, the court document said.
Police in Roanoke said in a statement that the vehicle was stolen Friday and was a rental car. Police said the three people who were using the vehicle had gotten out of the car at an overlook in Roanoke and left the car, a Chevrolet Impala, unlocked and running when it was taken.
Military officials on Monday released information that Keoughan served in the Navy for six years, leaving in 2014 as an aviation electronics technician. Ensign Marc Rockwellpate, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy Office of Information, said he could not release details of Keoughan’s discharge because it is private information.
Keoughan’s wasn’t the only arrest Saturday at the White House. That same day, 58-year-old William Bryant Rawlinson of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry after jumping a metal barrier just outside a White House fence.
The president was in Florida this weekend and not at the White House at the time of either incident.
Associated Press reporter Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report
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