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Man in custody after allegedly driving into barrier at Atlanta FBI office

The incident happened early Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for the FBI field office said.
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ATLANTA — A man is in custody after he allegedly rammed into a barrier at the FBI's Atlanta field office, an official said.

The incident happened just after noon on Monday when the driver of a Buick Encore with South Carolina license plates tried to follow an employee's car through a gated entrance, FBI officials said.

The entrance's pop-up wedge barrier engaged, as it does after every vehicle passes through, and the suspect rammed into it, destroying his car, FBI spokesperson Tony Thomas said.

The man then got out of his SUV and tried to run inside past the gate, but he was tackled soon after, FBI officials said.

"Several of our special agents who were passing by apprehended him," said Peter Ellis, the bureau's assistant special agent in charge of the Atlanta office said.

"He was not associated with this facility," he said.

A bomb squad and a search team checked the vehicle as a precaution, which was cleared.

No weapons were found in the vehicle, Thomas said.

Officials would not identify the suspect Monday. Ellis said the man was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Motive for the incident is not yet clear, the FBI said. Officials are considering filing state and federal charges.

Ellis said agents are subjected to ongoing training to prepare for such a scenario and had trained on the topic recently.

Pop-up wedge barriers are widely deployed at federal facilities such as military bases and FBI offices.

When needed, the cheese-like steel triangles can raise so one surface or its bollard-like forms face a potential intruder at a vehicle-stopping height. They're often rated by federal entities for their ability to stop vehicles based on their weight and speed upon potential impact.

In 2018 a pop-up wedge barrier stopped a minivan from getting onto White House grounds after a motorist tried to drive through a gate only to be thwarted and apprehended.

Law enforcement officials at the time said the woman was known for her presence outside the White House and may have had behavioral issues.

Blayne Alexander reported from Atlanta and Mirna Alsharif from New York City.