"I was just looking for help."
A US Indian man has been charged with trespassing after allegedly drinking “too much” tequila.
Jatinder Singh reportedly tried to book a room at the National Counterterrorism Centre, mistaking the building for a hotel.
According to court documents, 28-year-old Singh had climbed a security fence to enter the facility.
CIA officers found him on the Virginia-based property on March 14, 2021, at around 5 am.
The arrest affidavit said that the property is marked with multiple signs reading:
“U.S. GOVT. PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING”
Also according to the affidavit, Jatinder Singh told officers that he “had consumed Tequila that evening and was only there seeking a meal and a place to stay”.
Singh allegedly showed the officers a New York driving licence and a credit card.
He also had another person’s wallet in his possession, which he said belonged to someone he worked with.
Speaking of his drunken offence, Jatinder Singh told the New York Post:
“I didn’t know that was federal property. I was just looking for help.
“I just see the building with the lights.”
The probable-cause statement, retrieved by an investigative reporter from NBC4 Washington, says that Jatinder Singh “was noticeably unsteady on his feet and exhibited slurred speech.”
The statement was uploaded to Twitter on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
!!!!! NEW: New York man charged w/ climbing the fence and illegally entering……………….. CIA headquarters in Virginia.
Per CIA police officer: Man says he'd been drinking tequila. Potentially a sizeable amount of it pic.twitter.com/ovjzaoTDMC
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) April 1, 2021
The tweet reads:
“!!!!! NEW: New York man charged w/ climbing the fence and illegally entering……………… CIA headquarters in Virginia.
“Per CIA police officer: Man says he’d been drinking tequila. Potentially a sizeable amount of it.”
Upon being charged with trespassing, police took Jatinder Singh to the Alexandria Detention Centre in Northern Virginia.
Singh is due to appear in court again on May 27, 2021.
Virginia’s National Counterterrorism Centre was established in response to 9/11. The Centre acts as a “central repository for terrorism intelligence”.
Employees in the building work to oversee anti-terrorist efforts in the US and abroad.
Specialists from the CIA, FBI, Department of Defense, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Homeland Security and other departments work there as one team.
This is not the first time the security at a US federal facility has been breached.
In November 2019 a North Carolina woman, accused of trespassing at CIA headquarters four times, allegedly visited the home of former President Barack Obama.
The 58-year-old violated a court order to stay away from all government-related facilities when she went to Obama’s residence just outside Washington DC.