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Truck Rams Texas Capitol Gate

February 23, 2001

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A man crashed his pickup through the front gate of the Texas Capitol grounds Friday and tried to blow up the truck before he was seized by police, authorities said. No one was hurt.

Casey Dale Jacobs, 30, stopped his pickup about 250 feet from the building, got out, began waving his arms and yelling, ``Fire!″ and tried to put a lit cigarette into the truck’s gas tank, said Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

``We’re not sure what his motive was,″ Vinger said. He said Jacobs was ``ranting and raving nonsensically″ but did not appear to be intoxicated.

Gov. Rick Perry was inside the building at the time. The Legislature was not meeting, but some lawmakers were in the building.

Jacobs was arrested and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation, after which he may be charged with criminal mischief, Vinger said. If convicted, Jacobs could get up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The truck appeared to be filled with Jacob’s belongings, Vinger said.

Jacobs twice tried to park his truck on Friday in a restricted area of the Capitol and both times was asked to move, Vinger said. He also circled the building twice before veering off and crashing through the gate, which was unlocked and swung open undamaged, the spokesman said.

In Sacramento, Calif., a truck driver with a history of mental illness drove his tractor-trailer into California’s Capitol on Jan. 16, killing himself in a fiery explosion that forced the evacuation of lawmakers.

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