A man accused of placing an explosive outside a federal building in Detroit that sat unexamined inside for nearly three weeks will undergo a mental exam after declaring in court Friday that he was a former president and the governor of California.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Greeley said he was influenced by Gary Mikulich's behavior during the man's first appearance in federal court in Marquette.
Mikulich, 42, was arrested and charged Thursday with leaving a metal box containing electrical components outside the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit on Feb. 26. No one was hurt, and a bomb squad destroyed it miles away at a city park last week.
But the case has embarrassed the government because the explosive _ inside a cash box that was in a tool bag _ sat inside the building that houses the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, immigration court and other agencies for 20 days before authorities did anything with it.
Mikulich, who lives in the Upper Peninsula town of Kingsford, 500 miles northwest of Detroit, said in court that he was a one-term president, a co-governor of California, a Secret Service officer and a U.S. marshal.
His family released a statement saying Mikulich was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 18 years ago and often refuses to take medication. The family "tried many times to make Gary realize that he needed to be on his medication, to no avail, and feels the system has failed him and failed the family," the statement said.
Greeley ordered Mikulich to be taken to a federal psychiatric center for no more than 45 days to determine his competency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat agreed.
Iron Mountain police in the Upper Peninsula told the FBI that Mikulich had sent faxes more than a dozen times this year complaining about the FBI and claiming that a "card system" had attacked him and caused the murder of thousands of people.
The FBI has said it has no idea what was meant by a "card system."
Mikulich's family mentioned in the statement some of his mental-health issues, including hospital stays and court action to get him help. In the past, they said, he has had a steady job, many friends and "seemed content" when busy. He has a degree in electrical engineering.
"Gary has been unemployed the last six months and at no time ever gave the family any indication that he was a threat to himself or to anyone else in the community," the family said.
The government has not explained why the tool bag sat for so long.
A contract security guard has been suspended. The Federal Protective Service, which guards federal buildings, is sending trainers to Detroit.
Associated Press writer Ed White contributed to this report.