Love makes people do all kinds of crazy things, from the irresponsible to the downright criminal. But perhaps no one has gone quite so far to achieve romantic bliss as Christian Desgroux, a man authorities say impersonated a three-star US Army general, rented a helicopter, and took to the skies on a bogus top-secret mission, all to impress a potential suitor.
According to the Associated Press, the date kicked off last November when Desgroux reportedly hired a chopper to pick him up from his house in North Carolina and fly off to the headquarters of SAS Institute, a major software company where his date worked. After the pilot landed the thing on the company's soccer field, Department of Homeland Security special agent Tony Bell testified that Desgroux disembarked dressed to the nines in "full military battle dress uniform"—all to sweep his date off her feet.
"He saluted the security officers, and they actually saluted him back," Bell said. As for the married woman who Desgroux was there for—"she had no idea that he was flying a helicopter to pick her up," he added. "She just went along with it."
Desgroux allegedly explained that he'd flown in to pick up the SAS employee for a classified briefing at an Army post nearby, a meeting approved by President Trump himself. But agents say that was a load of BS—Desgroux hasn't served in the military, and, according to Bell, he'd actually just shown up to take his crush on a joyride. They ended up taking a roughly $1,500 trip, spending a total of three hours flying around Raleigh, the Washington Post reports.
When they landed back on the soccer field, security called the cops and a joint terrorism task force got involved to figure out what Desgroux's aim was, the AP reports. The helicopter pilot told the Post Desgroux hired a chopper last year, wearing full Army regalia, wanting to land the thing at the Pentagon. Now it appears the guy was just interested in pulling off a _Bachelor_-worthy date.
The alleged hopeless romantic is currently being held on charges of impersonating a high-ranking officer and engaging "in transporting a person for a classified briefing," which could land him in prison for up to three years. His attorney told a judge on Monday that Desgroux claims he's innocent—though, if loving is a crime, he'll always be guilty.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.
Related: Birdhouse Drops in from a Helicopter