British man arrested for ‘trying to kill Trump’
Michael Steven Sandford approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted Trump’s autograph, but then tried to take a weapon
A British man arrested at a weekend Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas tried to grab a police officer’s gun so he could kill the presidential candidate after planning an assassination for about a year, according to authorities.
US Secret Service agents said Michael Steven Sandford approached a Las Vegas police officer at the campaign stop to say he wanted Trump’s autograph, but that he then tried to take the weapon.
A complaint filed Monday in US District Court in Nevada charges Sandford, 20, with an act of violence on restricted grounds. He was denied bail during a court appearance later in the day. His court-appointed attorney said he was living out of his car and in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.
Sanford has not entered a plea.
The arrest happened relatively quietly at a campaign stop seen as peaceful compared to the mayhem at the presumptive Republican nominee’s recent events in San Jose, California, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Gregg Donovan was among about 1,500 gathered Saturday to see Trump at the Treasure Island casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
For the event, he donned the top hat and red jacket that made him recognizable in his former job as swanky Beverly Hills’ official greeter for more than a decade.
Donovan said he didn’t know about the charge against Sanford until he saw news reports. But he recognized him because the two had stood in line together for nine hours waiting to get into the Trump event. Sanford even held Donovan’s spot in line for a bathroom break.
“I was No. 5, and he was No. 4,” Donovan said.
They spoke, Donovan said, though Sanford didn’t say much and seemed “strange.” Donovan didn’t elaborate on what made Sanford seem odd.
After waiting, they passed through metal detectors manned by Secret Service, police and casino security officials.
Federal Magistrate Judge George Foley said in court Monday that Sandford was a potential danger to the community and a flight risk. Sandford wore leg irons and appeared to tremble during the hearing.