A judge denied Hung bail Monday; he will remain in federal custody before his trial. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 15, a public information officer at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California told The Washington Post.
Hung was first arrested by Pasadena police on May 31 on suspicion of attempted assault with a deadly weapon after he drove his Dodge Ram truck into a crowd of more than 100 people peacefully protesting racial injustice at an intersection in Old Town Pasadena.
The crowd quickly dispersed, and no injuries were reported.
While searching Hung’s car, Pasadena police found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, high-capacity magazines loaded with ammunition, a machete, a long metal pipe and a megaphone, according to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Diamond Outlaw, along with the criminal complaint.
Hung first obtained the handgun from a friend who purchased it for him in Oregon, the affidavit alleges, then transported it to California. The friend who purchased the weapon falsely said he was the actual transferee of the gun, rather than Hung, prosecutors say. Hung and his friend then planned to transport the firearm to his home in San Marino before bringing it to the demonstration, according to the affidavit.
An investigation, led by the FBI’s Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Pasadena Police Department, found Hung had previously purchased at least three more weapons in Oregon, which he also transported to California.
Federal officials say Hung had amassed an arsenal of firearms and tactical equipment and used his family’s vineyard in Lodi, Calif., as a training camp “to prepare to engage in civil disorders.” A photograph from Hung obtained by investigators showed six firearms displayed on a table along with large number of rifle barrels, magazines, ammunition of various calibers and a tactical vest with assault rifle magazines.
On the weekend of the alleged attack, Hung bragged about his efforts to assault protesters, according to the affidavit. He had also communicated to his associates about creating a “tactical training camp and firearms range at his family’s vineyard and his intent to use the firearms in preparation for civil disorders,” the court document said.
Witnesses’ accounts and social media reports included in the affidavit show Hung had surveilled the area days before the attempted attack in May. At least one witness reported seeing a truck resembling Hung’s vehicle the night before, by the same intersection where the incident took place.
Another witness who worked nearby recalled spotting a truck like Hung’s two days before the attack, according to the affidavit. The witness said that a passenger in a white truck had asked them where they could find protests in Pasadena.
In the document, Outlaw also referred to witness interviews and a video taken by a bystander to describe Hung’s vehicle, which he said bore a plate that read “WAR R1G” and had an elevated suspension and an enhanced exhaust pipe that spewed black fumes as it rolled toward the crowd. The truck was flying three flags often used by far-right extremist groups, including a 13-states “Betsy Ross” American flag.
If convicted, Hung could face up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.