Pennsylvania man accused of biting FBI agents
(CNN)—A Western Pennsylvania man accused of biting two FBI agents while concealing a gun was ordered jailed for a day on Thursday while a prosecutor appealed a judge’s order that the suspect be freed pending trial, a CNN affiliate reported.
Emerson Begolly was arrested Tuesday morning by FBI agents attempting to serve two search warrants related to Begolly’s alleged postings on Islamic jihadist websites, WTAE reported.
Agents found Begolly, 21, alone in the passenger seat of a car in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
“One of the agents opened the rear passenger door and identified himself as an FBI agent, and stated, ‘we want to talk to you,’ or words to that effect,” the complaint said. “Another agent opened the passenger door where Begolly was sitting.”
Begolly screamed, the complaint said, and reached toward his jacket. Believing he was reaching for a gun, the agents struggled with him.
“Agents attempted to control Begolly, Begolly bit both agents and drew blood,” the complaint said. “They eventually brought him under control.”
The agents found a loaded 9mm handgun, with the safety off and a round in the chamber, in Begolly’s jacket.
Begolly is charged with assault against FBI agents performing their official duties, using a deadly or dangerous weapon to injure the agents and possessing a firearm while committing the assault.
At the hearing Thursday, Begolly was told he could remain free pending trial as long as he stayed in a halfway house, WTAE reported. But that order was stayed for 24 hours after prosecutors asked for time to file an emergency appeal.
At the hearing, the FBI said that Begolly had posted jihadist messages as Asadullah Alshishani. The bureau also presented evidence that Begolly’s father dressed him as a Nazi officer as a child; that he owns an AK-47; that his brother and mother said he wants to die a martyr and take others with him; that his mother said he had been diagnosed at 6 with Aspberger’s Syndrome; and this his mother recently tried to have him admitted to a psychiatric facility.
WTAE also reported that Begolly had been a student at Penn State’s New Kensington campus but had left school. Penn State officials told the station that he took some online classes but was later suspended.
A MySpace page in Begolly’s name includes pictures of a boy dressed in Nazi attire and a young, bearded man at a rally in support of Palestinians in Gaza, but CNN could not authenticate the page. Writings attributed to Asadullah Alshishani appear on several jihadist websites, but those, too, could not be authenticated.
Begolly is also mentioned in a 2009 issue of Penn State’s newspaper, saying he attended a pro-Palestinian rally on the main campus at State College. He was identified in the article as a sophomore religion major.