A St. Paul man crashed his vehicle into the gates at the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue in on Monday night and was charged with first degree property damage on Wednesday.
Wondu Seifu, 42, rammed his car into the gates, causing the east half to break open. A state trooper assigned to the Governor’s Mansion said that he saw the vehicle intentionally slam into the gates. The crash damaged the electric motor that controls the gates. He faces one count of criminal damage to property – a felony.
The criminal complaint said that Seifu wanted to ask Governor Mark Dayton to be deported to another country where he would be granted religious asylum. Seifu did not consider leaving the United States voluntarily. According to the Pioneer Press, Seifu told police that he wanted to leave the country because he said his house had been the target of “spiritual warfare attacks” and he believed that the state and federal governments withheld funds from his paychecks outside of tax money.
State troopers stationed at the Governor’s Mansion told Seifu to show his hands and began to check for weapons, when the man began to cry uncontrollably. He then tried to undress before the police stopped him.
According to the Pioneer Press, Seifu is a naturalized U.S. citizen who immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia in 2003. He could be sentenced up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted.