SUV-Into-Building Suspect Held Without Bond

Man told police he was trying to get FBI's attention

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCWashington.com

    The man who drove an SUV into an office building in northwest D.C. Friday evening was ordered held without bond Monday.

    Charles Morrell Ball, 32, of New Market, Md., was charged with assault with intent to kill and arson.

    The SUV crashed into the office building at 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW at about 7:30 p.m. Authorities said there was a distinct smell of gasoline and an open gas container in the SUV and Ball pulled out a lighter and tried to ignite himself. The FBI and a bomb squad were called to the scene Friday night.

    Witnesses said it appeared Ball deliberately avoided pilons designed to protect pedestrians and the building, News4's Jim Rosenfield reported.

    Ball told police he wanted to speak to the FBI and crashed into the building to get their attention because other local authorities wouldn't listen to his fears that his family was in danger, Rosenfield reported. What sparked those fear is unclear.

    Police say that Ball is being held at a hospital for observation. Investigators are currently attempting to determine a motive.

    Court records show that Ball is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of a third degree sex offense in April 2008. The Maryland Sex Offender Registry also lists Ball as owning a car whose license plates match those of the car that crashed into the building.

    Court records also show that Ball was charged with speeding, driving without a license, and trying to flee police on foot in relation to an incident that took place in Allegany County in December 2010. He was charged with speeding in Frederick County in March of this year. Both incidents also involved the car that Ball allegedly drove into the building on Connecticut Avenue.