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Driver plows into O.C. federal building in an allegedly deliberate attack

Driver plows into O.C. federal building in an allegedly deliberate attack
The Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, shown in a file photo. (Bob Greiser / Los Angeles Times)

A driver with an alleged grudge against the government struck and injured a federal investigator Thursday before slamming into the exterior of a federal building in Orange County, authorities said.

About 4:30 p.m., the driver struck the investigator outside the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel and crashed into a maintenance garage near the side of the facility, according to a law enforcement source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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The driver, identified as Geoffrey Rickner, 45, of Laguna Niguel, was allegedly motivated by antipathy for the federal government, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the incident.

The driver was taken into custody at the scene, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. Both the driver and the injured federal employee were taken to a hospital in unknown condition.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department also responded to the scene and deployed its bomb squad to survey for explosives, sheriff's Lt. Mark Stichter said.

The suspected assailant's vehicle and the building, colloquially known as "the Ziggurat," were inspected by the bomb squad and deemed safe, Eimiller said.

Completed in 1971 for Rockwell International, the Ziggurat was taken over by the U.S. government in 1974, according to the General Services Administration. The Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service are the main tenants in the building.

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