Mansfield Man Charged With Plotting To Bomb AK Steel

By PAUL SINGER, Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Mansfield autoworker has been charged with plotting to launch a homemade bomb at an AK Steel Corp. mill in sympathy with union steelworkers who have been locked out of the plant.

Members of the United Steelworkers of America have been locked out of the Mansfield plant since Sept. 1, 1999. AK Steel has continued operating the plant with management and about 250 replacement workers.

In sympathy with the union, Fred Frigo hatched a plan last fall to build a rocket launcher and bomb the plant from the back of a pickup truck, according to charges filed in federal court here on Friday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Vecchiarelli on Friday ordered Frigo detained until a further hearing April 4.

Frigo is being represented by Sonja Rowan of the Federal Public Defender's office, who declined to comment on the case. Frigo's home telephone number is unlisted.

Brian Kolar, a special agent of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said in an affidavit that Frigo admitted the plan to an ATF informant he was trying to recruit as an assistant.

According to Kolar, Frigo told the informant he was building a homemade rocket and distilling alcohol into fuel to propel the rocket. Frigo said he could launch two rockets at the plant from the back of a pickup truck driving by and that he would bring a rifle to fire at police if they were followed, according to a conversation recorded by ATF agents.

Frigo said that if the plan was successful, the "scabs" at the plant would be put out of work, and Frigo would be "considered a local warlord," according to the affidavit.

Frigo, who works at a General Motors plant in nearby Ontario, also is accused of telling the informant that they would not be caught because law enforcement officials would suspect terrorists due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

About 620 members of the union's Local 169 are out of work at the Mansfield plant because of the lockout. Frigo is a member of the United Auto Workers.

The company is "deeply concerned that some union members in Mansfield continue to believe that violence is the answer to a labor dispute," said AK Steel spokesman Alan McCoy.

AK Steel said violence and sabotage at the Mansfield plant figured in the company's decision not to continue using union labor to operate the mill.

David McCall, United Steelworkers district director, said on Friday that Frigo's plan is "absolutely wrong."

"The company has committed terrible violence against our members, but this sort of violence is certainly no way to resolve the issue," he said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)