Man accused of driving pickup into crowd of demonstrators in Pasadena is arrested on firearms charges

A man who allegedly drove his truck into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators on May 31 in Pasadena was arrested Wednesday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiring to violate firearms laws.

Benjamin Jong Ren Hung, 28, of San Marino, is charged with one count of conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines and to make a false statement in acquisition of firearms.

At his initial appearance Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court, Hung was ordered detained pending a hearing Monday to determine his bail status.

Hung’s arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 15, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Pasadena Police Department officers arrested Hung on May 31 after the allegedly intentional attempted truck attack in Old Town Pasadena.

The crowd scattered as the truck approached, and no injuries were reported in the incident, the affidavit states.

During a search of Hung’s truck, police found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, multiple high-capacity magazines loaded with ammunition, an 18-inch machete, $3,200 in cash, a long metal pipe and a megaphone, according to the affidavit.

Hung allegedly acquired the firearm from a friend who purchased it for him in Oregon and then transported it to California, prosecutors said.

When the friend purchased the firearm, he falsely represented that he was the actual transferee of the gun, rather than Hung, the affidavit states.

Hung and his friend then allegedly conspired to transport the firearm to California, where Hung kept it at his San Marino home prior to bringing it to the demonstration.

The affidavit further alleges that in March, Hung purchased at least three additional firearms in Oregon and then transported them to California.

Hung also allegedly amassed other firearms and tactical equipment from suppliers throughout the United States and used his family’s vineyard in Lodi, California as a training camp to prepare to engage in civil disorders, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Hung would face up to five years in federal prison.

The May 31 protest was also marked by an incident in which a sedan driver drove through an intersection filled with protesters, and took off with a man still clinging to the hood.  A man with a green sign was stuck on the hood until the driver stopped.

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