Mechanic Allegedly Pulled Crazy Helicopter Scheme to Impress Woman

He's accused of impersonating 3-star general, landing chartered helicopter on soccer field
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2018 2:12 PM CDT
This undated mug shot shows Christian Desgroux, 57, on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.   (Wake City-County Bureau of Identification via AP)

(Newser) – A North Carolina car mechanic is accused of posing as a three-star Army general in order to have a chartered helicopter land at a woman's place of employment in an apparent bid to impress her. Christian Gerald Desgroux, a 58-year-old native of Chile who recently became a US citizen and has lived in the Raleigh area for decades, reveals in a new court filing that he will plead guilty and will not object to the conclusion that he was legally sane during the Nov. 6 incident, the AP reports. It was around sunset the day that the helicopter landed on a soccer field at the large corporate campus of technology firm SAS Institute in Cary; Desgroux stepped off wearing a military uniform with three stars and saluted security officers who approached. They returned the salute, and he told them he was there on President Trump's orders to transport a female employee to a classified briefing at Fort Bragg.

The woman, who had known Desgroux for 20 years and was expecting him to arrive at SAS in a car, went on a 30-minute helicopter ride around Raleigh with him. She later told authorities she believed he was attempting to woo her, but she is married. After they landed back on the SAS campus, company security officials alerted police to the incident, the Washington Post reported in February, when Desgroux was indicted. Investigators suspected he was mentally ill and his attorney requested a psychological evaluation, the results of which are sealed. In the new court filings, Desgroux's attorney says he is seeking his client's release pending sentencing, arguing that sentencing guidelines call for no more than six months and he has already been in custody for about five months. Desgroux, who has never actually served in the military, allegedly pulled the same helicopter-and-army-uniform scheme with another woman last year, the BBC reports. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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