This Guy Impersonated a General, Commandeered a Helicopter, & Said He was on a Mission for the President.
Christian Desgroux went to great lengths to impress a woman. He chartered a cherry red helicopter, had it land at a soccer field, saying he was on a top-secret mission that was approved by President Donald Trump. Pretending to be a three-star general, Desgroux claimed he was supposed to escort for the woman to a classified briefing.
The incident happened last November, when Desgroux, 57, who is actually an auto mechanic, arranged to have the helicopter bring him to a soccer field at the SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, just outside of the city of Raleigh.
He wore apparel similar to an Army flight uniform, complete with three black stars, making it appear as though he was a lieutenant general.
But, just as he was not a three-star general, Desgroux was also not on a mission authorized by Trump.
Desgroux surprised the woman he claimed he was sent to escort, a move that Tony Bell, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, believes was an attempt to woo the unsuspecting woman. He claimed to be taking her to a classified briefing at a nearby military base.
It is not clear whether the woman believed Desgroux’s claims, but he was indicted last week on charges of impersonating an officer on duty. The charge comes with a maximum penalty of a three-year stint in jail and a $250,000 fine, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The woman did board the helicopter, which took off soon after. Not knowing where to go, Desgroux had Dan Miller, the chartered pilot circle the city of Raleigh for approximately half an hour.
Miller stated that the woman claimed to have issues with her headset during the flight, saying that she could not hear him or Desgroux.
“I’m not convinced [the headset] had problems,” said Miller, though he noted that she appeared “extremely nervous,” but wasn’t sure if she was just reacting to being in a helicopter.
After the 30 minute flight, Miller piloted the helicopter back to the soccer field. Miller stated that the cost of the entire ride, which took approximately three hours, was over $1,500.
This wasn’t the first time Desgroux had chartered such a flight with the charter company or impersonated a member of the military.
A judge ordered that Desgroux remained confined pending his arraignment based on outstanding charges of domestic violence and attempting to elude arrest.
Desgroux’s defense attorney, Andrew McCoppin, has said that his client plans to please not guilty during his arraignment, and that “i appears that a number of things have snowballed to where we are today.”