A Norwegian tourist accused of threatening to kill police officers in Portland, Maine, has been denied bail.
Espen Brungodt, 28, of Norway, appeared in federal court in Portland Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with sending threatening interstate communications last Wednesday.
According to police, Brungodt sent multiple emails and tweets threatening to shoot and kill police officers and blow up a Portland parking garage, using the hashtag "Black Lives Matter."
In court, Brungodt's attorney said his client has Asperger's and became obsessed with the idea of being arrested in the United States. He said the suspect did not intend to carry out the threat, and had no ability to do so.
Prosecutors argued that Brungodt created a serious risk to the community when he sent those threats. Multiple buildings had to be evacuated in the city, and police were on high alert, providing armed escorts and working in pairs while the FBI investigated.
When he was arrested, Brungodt allegedly told police that he got an adrenaline rush watching the police response, and he got the "desired" effect of his threats.
According to FBI Special Agent Patrick Clancy, Brungodt said if he had known Donald Trump was coming to Portland the next day, he would have referenced it in his threats to increase their impact. He also said Brungodt threatened to use the Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle because it was the same weapon used by the Orlando shooter.
U.S. Attorney Michael Conley asked the judge to deny bail because Brungodt posed a flight risk if he was to return to Norway. Conley said an extradition treaty between Norway and the U.S. affords Brungodt the right to refuse to return to the U.S. for trial.
Brungodt's father testified that his son has never been in trouble before, and promised to bring him back for his court dates, but the judge granted the government's motion.