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Driver hits official residence of Minn. Governor

Repairmen make a temporary fix to a wrought iron gate at the Governor's Residence in St. Paul Monday morning, Nov. 26, 2018, after a 59-year-old man allegedly rammed a vehicle into the gate Sunday night. Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press1 / 2
Clinton Leonard Fouquette (Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)2 / 2
  1. PAUL -- When Clinton Leonard Fouquette hit the front gate of the Governor’s Residence Sunday night, Nov. 25, with his SUV, he was traveling so fast it reportedly “sounded like an explosion.”

Law enforcement quickly converged on the scene.

After determining the vehicle didn’t have explosives, Fouquette was ordered out of the SUV at gunpoint by Minnesota State Patrol troopers and arrested without incident.

He was charged Monday with making terroristic threats and first-degree criminal damage to property, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Ramsey County District Court.

After hitting the gate at about 9:30 p.m., Fouquette’s 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe came to a stop in the driveway.

Gov. Mark Dayton was home at the time.

Dayton “was never in danger,” Caroline Burns, Dayton’s press secretary, said. “The state patrol quickly contained the situation and apprehended the suspect without the use of force. Troopers did an exceptional job de-escalating the situation to keep everyone safe.”

Fouquette, 59, told law enforcement afterward that he had many problems and that speaking to the governor was his only solution, the complaint said.

He went on to tell paramedics that he had medical issues and was tired of dealing with “all the electricity under his skin,” court records say.

Minnesota court records show no criminal history for Fouquette.

Roxanne Avise, who knew Fouquette for about 10 years when she was in a relationship with one of his brothers, said she was surprised to hear of his arrest.

She hasn’t talked to Fouquette for about two years, but she said she always knew him as a quiet man who worked as a carpenter and wasn’t outspoken about politics.

In addition to the cost to law enforcement who responded to the scene, there was between $50,000 and $75,000 in damages to the Governor’s Residence’s front gate, authorities say.

Fouquette is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

He could not be reached for comment and no attorney was listed for him in court records.

A brother of Fouquette’s said Monday morning that he had been unaware of his arrest and declined comment.

In 2016, a man was charged after crashing into the Governor’s Residence gates. Wondu Seifu told police he wanted to ask Dayton to be deported to another country where he would be granted religious asylum, according to a criminal complaint.

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