Officials: Utah man says he rammed FBI security gate to ‘attract attention’ of agent

Robert Joseph Hibbard. Photos: Salt Lake County; FBI

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 6, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah man convicted of kidnapping in 2012 has now been booked into jail on a charge of destruction of government property after officials say he rammed his SUV into an FBI security gate in Salt Lake City.

Robert Joseph Hibbard, 49, was charged Monday after the incident, which officials say happened on Sunday, and caused more than $1,000 in property damage.

“Hibbard stated he came to the visitor entrance of the FBI building approximately 10 minutes prior to the incident,” says a federal charging document.

“Hibbard had asked the security guard to speak with an FBI agent, but the security guard told Hibbard that there wasn’t one available. The security guard provided Hibbard with a telephone number for the FBI, and Hibbard left the area.”

The statement says Hibbard drove to a nearby gas station and called the provided number, but no one answered the phone.

“Hibbard became upset and returned to the FBI building, driving around it a couple times until he decided to drive his vehicle through the northeast gate. Hibbard stated he was upset that the security guard didn’t let him in the building initially, and wanted to commit a federal crime to attract the attention of an FBI agent.”

Hibbard was detained and screened by medical personnel after his vehicle ran into the security barrier, the statement says.

Hibbard was read his Miranda rights, and gave the account above, the statement says. He was charged because “he did willfully injure and commit depredation against property of the United States.”

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The charging document was signed by Paul M. Warner, Chief United States Magistrate Judge. If convicted, Hibbard could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

2012 case

Hibbard was arrested after a Sept. 17, 2012, incident and was charged on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping. A probable cause statement in the case says that Hibbard took a hostage in a former FBI field office in Salt Lake City.

The probable cause statement says Hibbard entered the federal building in Salt Lake City and appeared to be agitated. When he was told to leave, Hibbard stated that he wasn’t leaving, and grabbed a man from behind and placed an object against the man’s back, the statement said.

“Hibbard stated ‘this is a hostage situation,’ and stated that he had a gun,” the 2012 probable cause statement says. “Hibbard stated that he needed a forensic psychiatrist, and suggested that the FBI had a forensic psychiatrist.”

Hibbard put the 61-year-old man in an elevator and pushed the FBI’s floor, the statement says.

“When they arrived at the FBI’s floor, Hibbard loosened this grip on (the victim) and handed him a knife that he was holding to his back. An FBI agent took Hibbard into custody.”

Hibbard was given three years of probation as part of a plea deal.

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