A truck driver from Uzbekistan who held up traffic on a U.S. freeway for hours during the holiday weekend in an armed standoff with police has pleaded not guilty to charges of making a terrorist threat.
Khurshed Haydarov, 25, was charged with the felony after confronting police in a four-hour standoff along Interstate 29 near Kansas City, Missouri.
Haydarov pleaded not guilty during a brief court appearance on December 27 in which he required a Russian interpreter. Authorities said he lives in Philadelphia but that he's from Uzbekistan and speaks little English.
A judge scheduled a January 3 hearing in his case.
The incident began when witnesses reported that a man was pointing a long gun at passing vehicles from the cab of a tractor-trailer parked at a rest stop on December 23. No shots were fired.
Police ordered the freeway closed in both directions near the rest stop.
The ensuing standoff ended when authorities breached one of the truck's windows and arrested Haydarov.
Haydarov's weapon later was identified as a pellet gun, which usually is not lethal when fired.
Police said Haydarov was disoriented but was not found to be legally intoxicated.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.