FBI gate smashing leads to arrest of Buffalo man

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A driver is facing charges after smashing through a gate Thursday night and getting into the parking lot of the FBI office in downtown Buffalo.

Police say the driver, 35 year old Robert Lowe of Buffalo, took off and was stopped and arrested by officers in the area of Chippewa and Franklin, not far from the gate smashing scene.

Robert Lowe

“There’s two entrance gates apparently to that property. He was unable to get through one of the gates. There’s a secondary gate around the other side of the lot that he was able to get through apparently,” said Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo.

A criminal complaint against Lowe says he rammed the gate on Mohawk St., drove around the office and then rammed the Staats St. gate twice.

After this, the complaint says Lowe drove in circles and rammed the outbound lane perimeter gate before driving out of the parking lot through Staats St.

Lowe says he “wanted to go to the Federal Building and talk to the feds” and later said “the police wanted to kill me,” according to the complaint.

At this point, authorities have ruled out any terrorism connection.

Lowe, who’s known to law enforcement, was initially taken to ECMC for an evaluation.

He face charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief, according to Rinaldo.

The vehicle, a red GMC Yukon, was taken to the city’s impound lot on Dart Street where it was processed by FBI agents.

The front-end of the vehicle suffered extensive damage.

“It was not his vehicle, but we do not have any information at this point that the vehicle was stolen. I know part of the investigation is trying to ascertain some information from the actual owner of the vehicle,” Rinaldo said.

The FBI property, located at South Elmwood Avenue and Niagara Street, close to City Hall, has barriers around the perimeter for added security.

But it appears that wasn’t enough to stop an intruder from gaining limited outside access.

“The estimated value of the damaged security gates [is] $57,000,” the criminal complaint said.

Lowe appeared before a Buffalo City Court Judge Saturday morning.

Federal authorities filed separate charges in connection with the gate smashing incident. They accused Lowe of depredation of government property.

MORE | See the criminal complaint against Lowe here.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s