NJ police thwart potential attack, seize man's weapons
43-year-old Lloyd R. Woodson was armed with semiautomatic rifle and bulletproof vest when arrested
The Associated Press
BRANCHBURG, N.J. — A New Jersey judge set bail Tuesday at $75,000 for a Virginia man facing charges after authorities seized rifles, a grenade launcher, a night vision scope and a map of a U.S. military facility from a motel room where he was staying.
Lloyd Woodson, 43, of Reston, Va., appeared briefly before Superior Court Judge John Pursel in Somerville on Tuesday afternoon, shackled and dressed in a jail jumpsuit.
He did not speak during the two-minute proceeding except to acknowledge the judge. No defense lawyer was present, and Woodson was not asked to enter a plea.
He would need to post a bond of only $7,500 to get out of jail as he awaits trial. People seen as major threats usually have a higher bail amount set; prosecutors have not said how close they believe Woodson came to using his weapons.
FBI agent Bryan Travers said it appears he did not have terrorist connections, and he has not been charged with any federal crimes.
Woodson was arrested in Branchburg early Monday by police responding to a complaint about a suspicious person.
Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest said Woodson was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle concealed under his green, military-style jacket when officers encountered him at a Quick Chek store in Branchburg shortly before 4 a.m. Monday.
According to a court document, a police officer asked him if he was OK. He responded: "I'm getting some food for my kids," then fled.
Officers chased him out of the convenience store and found him hiding in bushes. They tackled him when he tried to run again. The officers used pepper spray to subdue him.
Forrest said the rifle Woodson was carrying had a defaced serial number and had been altered to fire .50-caliber ammunition.
Detectives later searched the room where Woodson had been staying at the Red Mill Inn in Branchburg. Forrest said they seized another Bushmaster .308-caliber semiautomatic rifle with a defaced serial number, a 37 mm Cobray grenade launcher, a second bulletproof vest, a Russian-made night vision scope, a police scanner, the maps, and hundreds of rounds of .50-caliber and .308-caliber ammunition.
Woodson was being held at the Somerset County jail. Prosecutor's spokesman Jack Bennett said his office did not know whether Woodson had a lawyer. Tom Rosenthal, a spokesman for the state public defender's office, said it had not been assigned his case.
Forrest said investigators from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the probe.
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