MIAMI (AP) – A former Cuban Olympic wrestler pleaded guilty Monday to ramming his SUV into a ticket counter at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on the Fourth of July.

Alexis Vila Perdomo, 33, pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to intentionally using a motor vehicle to seriously damage and disrupt an international airport, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

As part of the plea agreement, other charges against him will be dropped after he is sentenced Jan. 5. Vila faces a maximum 20-year sentence and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Vila’s motive remained unclear. He was involuntarily committed for a psychiatric evaluation after he was subdued by an air marshal and three Broward County deputies. He was found competent to go to trial.

His public defender, Robert Berube, didn’t return a phone call left after hours.

Vila drove through two plate-glass doors at 45 mph and crashed through an unmanned Southeast Airlines ticket counter. He suffered minor scrapes and no one else was injured.

Vila won the bronze medal for Cuba in the 105.5-pound division in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He defected after winning a gold medal the following year at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico.

AP-ES-10-18-04 2313EDT



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