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FBI agent shot by booby-trapped wheelchair

The scene was described as being straight out of Indiana Jones

Wheelchair Source: DPA/PA Images

A FORMER SOUTHERN Oregon property owner has been charged with assault on a federal officer after authorities say an FBI agent sent to the property was shot from a booby-trapped wheelchair.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that law enforcement officers responded to the home in the small town of Williams on 7 September at the request of a real estate lawyer tasked with selling the property.

A criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Medford said officers found traps throughout the property from spike strips to a circular hot tub turned on its side and rigged to roll over anyone who triggered a tripwire.

“(It was) much like a scene from the movie ‘Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in which actor Harrison Ford is forced to outrun a giant stone boulder that he inadvertently triggered by a booby trap switch,” the complaint said.

After making it past the hot tub, according to the complaint, a bomb squad and FBI agent approached the property’s manufactured home and blasted open the fortified front door.

Inside the home a wheelchair outfitted with a fishing line, shotgun ammunition and other items got pushed and triggered the explosion that wounded the agent, according to court documents. An X-ray found a .410-guage shotgun pellet in the agent’s leg, documents said.

Authorities said the makeshift weapons were created by 66-year-old Gregory Rodvelt, who was forced to forfeit his property as part of an elder abuse case involving his mother.

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Rodvelt currently is in Arizona’s Maricopa County Jail, where he is in the midst of an assault trial in a separate case related to an alleged armed standoff. He has refused a court-appointed defence lawyer, the Mail Tribune reported .

Rodvelt had been in the Arizona jail since April 2017, but courts released him in mid-August for two weeks so he could prepare to turn over the property.

In the weeks since the agent was injured, a team of private contractors consisting of former military experts has inspected the property, the real estate lawyer said.

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Associated Press

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