A man armed with a BB gun and Buck knife burst into Iran’s consular offices in Washington on Wednesday morning, held a male victim at gunpoint and caused about 10 people to lock themselves in a bathroom out of fear of violence, U.S. law enforcement authorities said Thursday.
Alireza Fakhar, 55, appeared to be in a “stressed mental state” and was “moving around aimlessly and uttering undecipherable phrases” when confronted by U.S. Secret Service police, before complying with their orders to disarm and give himself up in the 10:30 a.m. incident, according to a police affidavit.
Fakhar was charged with kidnapping and damaging property owned by a foreign government, federal counts punishable by up to life and five years in prison, respectively, as well as with a District count of assault with a dangerous weapon, which carries up a maximum 10 year sentence, U.S. prosecutors announced.
Fakhar was ordered held pending a detention hearing Monday and did not enter a plea at an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Deborah A. Robinson, according to the U.S. attorney’s office of the District.
He was arrested after Secret Service officers responded to reports of a man with a gun at the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is located at the Pakistan Embassy at 1250 23rd Street NW in Washington’s West End neighborhood
According to an affidavit by U.S. Secret Service Police Sgt. Clifton Monger Jr., a victim appeared to have small cuts and swelling in his head, which is where security video allegedly showed he was struck by Fakhar and forced at gunpoint up a stairwell.
Witnesses said that they believed Fakhar was holding hostages, with people locking themselves in the bathroom and in an area behind shatterproof glass, while Fakhar “was waving his gun and a large hunting knife” with about an 8-inch blade, Monger alleged.
Monger alleged the suspect stabbed two widescreen televisions, a computer monitor and a trophy case with the knife and a metal chair leg.
Several streets in the area were blocked off for more than two hours during the incident.