Newark airport guard charged with threatening the president will not be near him today, lawyer says
Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 11:00 AM Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 12:28 PM
Alexi Friedman/The Star-Ledger
Mitsu Yasukawa/ The Star-LedgerJohn Brek, who was accused of threatening Obama, is interviewed at the Rambarran Law Firm office in Hackensack last November.
NEWARK — The attorney for the former Newark airport security guard who was arrested last year on charges he made threats against President Obama — charges that were later dropped — said his client will be “nowhere near the president” when he arrives in New Jersey this afternoon.
John Brek, 56, formerly of Linden, was arrested last October after two Continental Airlines employees at Newark Liberty International Airport alerted police to comments he made at the airport lunch truck about cutting a hole in a fence so he could shoot the president. Obama arrived at Newark Airport aboard Air Force One the next day to campaign for then-Gov. Jon Corzine.
Authorities searched Brek’s Linden home, where they found and confiscated 43 guns — all but one licensed — and hollow-point bullets. Brek, who was originally charged with making terroristic threats and possessing a stolen rifle and hollow-point bullets, agreed in November 2009 to plead guilty to two lesser counts of harassment.
Obama, who is due to land at Newark airport just before 1 p.m. today, will spend the afternoon talking about the economy.
Brek’s attorney, Moses Rambarran, said, “I don’t’ know what his plans are, but I’m certain he’s going to be nowhere near the president.” A restraining order issued at Brek’s arraignment forbidding him from coming near the president and his family is still in place. Rambarran recently filed to have that order vacated.
Authorities have not returned Brek’s gun collection, which had belonged to his father. The Essex County Prosecutor’s office “has opposed the return of his weapons,” Rambarran said, and has “requested they be destroyed. That’s a deprivation of his property rights.”
After he was arrested, Brek lost his job of seven years as a security guard at Newark airport, where he checked vehicles at the airport tarmac.
He also had to move out of his rental home in Linden. Rambarran said his client still lives in New Jersey but would not say where.
“John Brek was rightfully detained but wrongfully arrested and wrongfully prosecuted,” Rambarran said.
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