Australian accused of ramming into US Embassy gate

SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian man was charged with damaging property and ordered to undergo a mental evaluation after prosecutors said Thursday he deliberately rammed a car into a U.S. Embassy gate in the Australian capital.

The wreck caused a security scare: Roads were closed as police, ambulance and firefighters swarmed to the scene, and a bomb squad was summoned. Police said the bomb squad found nothing suspicious in the car involved in the crash Wednesday night in Canberra.

Prosecutor Katrina Musgrove said the driver, Adrian Richardson, left a mental health facility where he was a resident shortly before the crash. Security guards saw him switch the car headlights off before turning the vehicle toward the embassy, revving the engine and driving toward the main gate, Musgrove said. Richardson stepped out of the car after the crash and was immediately detained by guards. He was not injured.

Prosecutors said the crash caused up to 100,000 Australian dollars ($92,000) of damage.

Richardson, 30, of Queensland state, was charged with damaging the premises of an internationally protected person. He said nothing during his brief appearance in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court.

Magistrate Karen Fryar ordered him to return to the mental health facility for an evaluation.

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