VISTA, Calif. - The man accused of driving a stolen van onto the grounds of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Tuesday faced a judge Monday.
Erik Norman, 27, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of making criminal or terrorist threats and auto theft.
Norman is accused of stealing a delivery man's 2005 GMC van and taking it to Camp Pendleton where he allegedly tried to give people packages. He's then accused of drove onto the nuclear power plant.
"He drove past the guard at the gate after he told him he was there to check security. While the guard was checking on whether he could come in, the defendant was stopped by another security guard," an attorney said. "He told the guard he had packages that may contain explosives and bomb arson squad was called to the scene.”
“He has no criminal history. He has a college degree from San Francisco State in physics. He’s very intelligent and he knows what his responsibilities are,” Norman's attorney said.
Despite his degree in physics and lack of criminal history, San Diego Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland denied Norman's request for supervised release. Norman said he wanted to represent himself.
The judge set bail at $25,000 and Norman is scheduled to return to court on September 26. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 3 years and 8 months in prison.