British man tried to take officer’s gun to kill Donald Trump at rally, police say.
A British man has been detained and charged with attempting to seize a police officer’s gun at a Las Vegas rally in order to commit an act of violence against Donald Trump, authorities said on Monday.
Michael Steven Sandford was arrested at the Saturday rally after grabbing at the holster and handle of a gun at the hip of a Las Vegas police officer who was providing security at the event for the presumptive Republican nominee.
A federal magistrate on Monday found that Sandford was “a danger to the community and a risk of non-appearance” and ordered that he be held without bail, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, who also confirmed that Sandford is a British citizen.
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A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are providing assistance following the arrest of a British national in Las Vegas.” British authorities are understood to have become involved on Sunday.
The complaint, which was filed on Monday in the US district court for Nevada, says Sandford “knowingly attempted to engage in an act of physical violence against Donald J Trump … by attempting to seize a firearm from Las Vegas Metropolitan Department Officer”.
Sandford allegedly told a US agent, referred to in the complaint as special agent Swierkowski, that he had driven to Las Vegas from California in order to kill the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
According to the complaint, Sandford had gone to a gun range called Battlefield Vegas on 17 June in order to learn how to shoot. There, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9mm pistol, which, the complaint says, was the first time he had ever fired a gun.
The document also states that Sandford told Swierkowski that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try it again. He claimed he had lived in the US for approximately a year and a half and had been planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year but finally felt confident enough to try it on Saturday, according to Swierkowski’s report.
He also told Swierkowski that he had tickets for a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, later that day, and planned to try to kill Trump there as well.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for 5 July.