Bail set for man accused of aiding terrorism
WOODSTOCK – A bond of $10,000 was set Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court for a man accused of making phone calls that involved harassment of employees and patrons in a Mount Jackson restaurant and disruption of air travel and other activities at government facilities.
Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp imposed the bond on Colt Arnold Hardic, 21. As a condition of bond, Hupp ordered the defendant to stay with his mother in Alabama and waived extradition from Alabama to Virginia.
Remarks from Hardic’s attorney, assistant public defender Peter McDermott, added a few more details about the investigation that led to Hardic’s arrest in Alabama in mid-January. Hardic is charged with one count of committing, conspiring in or aiding terrorism; extortion; stalking; and three counts each of threatening to bomb and using profane language over a telephone.
McDermott said the phone calls were made using the Internet. He described his client as one of several targets of the investigation, including a 12- or 13-year-old boy from Georgia whom McDermott called the “ringleader.”
“He’s already cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the phone calls,” McDermott said of his client.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley did not oppose McDermott’s bail proposal, but Hupp was initially skeptical. He cited the likelihood of revived fears among employees at the restaurant as a factor weighing against the granting of bail for Hardic.
“I don’t know that he ought to be out on bond,” Hupp said of Hardic.
Mount Jackson police called the FBI and Virginia State Police on June 9 after the town’s officers linked Hardic and others to threats against the restaurant.
Authorities say the alleged threats interfered with normal operations of public and private entities, including airlines and government installations.
News accounts from late May, the time of the alleged incident, reported that the FBI and other law enforcement officials investigated threats against airline flights landing in New York City and other major U.S. cities.
Hupp banned Hardic from using the Internet in any way as a condition of bail.
Hardic’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 16.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org