Navy veteran accused of ramming vehicle into barrier at front gate of FBI Atlanta office

In an image taken from aerial video shows a red vehicle stopped by a barrier at the front gate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta division, Monday, April 1, 2024, in Chamblee, Ga. The FBI says a driver rammed a vehicle into the front gate of its Atlanta office, but his motives were not immediately known. (WSB via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal authorities have charged a U.S. Navy veteran who’s accused of ramming an SUV into a barrier at the front gate of the FBI’s Atlanta office.

Ervin Lee Bolling faces a federal charge of destroying government property stemming from the crash that happened shortly after noon on Monday, according to a court filing. A DeKalb County police spokesperson said Tuesday that officers have also secured warrants on state charges of interference with government property.

No attorney who could comment on the charges was listed in online court records.

Bolling enlisted in the Navy in January 1998 and served as a submarine sonar technician before retiring in 2017, according to Navy records. The records list South Carolina as his home of record.

The Atlanta FBI office in suburban Chamblee is surrounded by a metal fence with a retractable gate that employee enter by scanning an access card. Just inside the gate, there’s a barrier that flattens to allow authorized cars to enter and then lifts back up again.

Bolling was driving at 2022 Buick Encore GX SUV with a South Carolina license plate and crashed it into the barrier inside the gate, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent filed in court.

Video from the scene and a photo filed in court show a reddish-orange SUV with its hood crumpled against the barrier just inside the front gate.

After crashing the SUV, Bolling exited the vehicle and tried to follow an FBI employee into the secure parking lot on foot, the statement says. The agent he tried to follow and two other agents who were leaving at the time instructed him to sit on the curb, but he refused and tried to walk further into the parking lot and then resisted when the agents tried to take him into custody, the statement says.

Once Bolling was in custody, the agents found a passport in his pocket that allowed them to identify him. He was taken to an Atlanta hospital for evaluation.

Pete Ellis, assistant special agent in charge of the agency’s Atlanta office, told reporters on Monday agents and bomb technicians checked the vehicle “as a precaution.” An FBI spokesperson said no weapons were found in the SUV.

The agent’s statement says there is significant damage to the barrier that the SUV hit and that a contractor estimated it would cost more than $1,000 to repair.