Florida man with AK-47 arrested after asking to use the bathroom at Virginia preschool

Eric Sandow had earlier shown up at CIA headquarters and told guards he was armed

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 26 May 2023 18:48 BST
Florida man arrested near Virginia preschool

A Florida man who showed up outside CIA headquarters and told officers he was armed was later arrested with an AK-47 rifle at a nearby preschool in Virginia.

Eric Sandow, 32, of Gainesville, Florida, was taken into custody after allegedly approaching the Dolley Madison Preschool in Fairfax County on Tuesday, NBC Washington reported.

Police say that he asked if he could go inside the school to use the bathroom, but staff refused and he wandered off.

Eric Sandow
Eric Sandow (Fairfax County Police Department)

He was then picked up by police and told them that he was going to talk to the CIA, which is based a mile away.

Investigators say he was not armed at the time and made no threats. Officers who detained him then searched his car and found two firearms.

Earlier he had shown up at the agency’s headquarters and told guards, “I’m here and I have a gun,” a law enforcement source told CNN.

Sandow was charged with felony possession of a firearm on school property.

He appeared in court by video link on Thursday but did not enter a plea. A judge ordered him to remain in detention and his next court appearance is set for 24 July.

“There are very likely mental health issues involved,” said Chris Carter, a defence attorney who represented Mr Sandow at the hearing and asked for him to be released.

The preschool said that police would increase patrols around the school following the incident.

“We’re really grateful that the Fairfax County police responded quickly, and this wasn’t anything more than a stressful situation,” Christine Ryu-Naya, a member of Dolley Madison Preschool’s board of directors, said

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