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US police arrest heavily armed man with military map

world Updated: Jan 26, 2010 22:25 IST

Authorities in the US state of New Jersey announced the arrest of a heavily armed man who stockpiled military-grade weapons in a motel room and possessed the map of a US military facility.

The man was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying a concealed assault rifle, as well as large quantities of ammunition, when he was arrested following a chase in Branchburg, New Jersey, the prosecutor's office said.

The suspect, Lloyd Woodson, 43, was confronted by a police patrolman in the early hours of Monday at a Quick Chek discount convenience store.

He was "extremely nervous" and had a "large bulge" in the front of his military style jacket, Prosecutor Wayne Forrest and local police chief Brian Fitzgerald said in a statement.

After a foot chase to a trailer park, police used pepper spray to subdue Woodson and found he was carrying inside his coat a loaded Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle altered to fire heavy .50 caliber ammunition.

He also carried four additional magazines containing ball type and hollow point ammunition. The rifle's serial number had been erased.

Later, detectives searched Woodson's motel room and found an arsenal of military grade weapons, the authorities said.

These included another assault rifle, a 37 mm Cobray grenade launcher, another bullet-proof vest, a night vision scope, a police radio scanner, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Detectives also found "a map of a US military installation and a map of an out-of-state civilian community, a Middle Eastern red and white colored traditional headdress."

Woodson was charged with multiple weapons offenses.

Prosecutors did not reveal any possible motives.

But the incident came as security services in the United States are on heightened alert for Islamist militant attacks in addition to the constant threat of gun massacres committed periodically in public places.