Air base worker charged with making threats; many guns found

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police have seized more than 70 firearms from the home of a man who is accused of threatening to shoot co-workers at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in suburban Detroit.

Master Sgt. Roque Diegel (DEE’-gul) is charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism. He denied the allegation during a court appearance Tuesday, calling it “baffling.” He says he’s three weeks away from retirement.

State police say they found dozens of weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Diegel’s home in Harrison Township. The Macomb Daily reports that he has worked at Selfridge since 2002 and currently is an air terminal craftsman.

A picture on Facebook shows Diegel dressed as Santa Claus and holding a machine gun turret aboard a helicopter.

A judge set bond Tuesday at $250,000.

Later Tuesday, a driver slammed a car into a security barrier at the base, according to a spokeswoman for Michigan’s Air National Guard 127th Wing.

The car initially bypassed security personnel who check identification at the base entrance before striking “in-place force protection barriers” about 3 p.m., the spokeswoman said.

A man and a woman in the vehicle were taken to an area hospital for evaluation of possible injuries. It was not immediately known why the driver tried to gain access to the base.

Base officials said in a release that there is no indication the incident is related to Diegel’s threat to the base.

The gate-crashing was being investigated by the state police. The Associated Press left a message Tuesday afternoon seeking comment from the state police.

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Information from: The Macomb Daily, http://www.macombdaily.com

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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