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Authorities: Man Followed 2 United Nations Motorcades On JFK Airport Grounds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man driving a black SUV and carrying a badge was caught tailgating two motorcades transporting United Nations VIPs at JFK Airport on Saturday night, authorities said.

Chris Cannella, 39, of North Babylon, told Port Authority police he was trying to give the pope his business card -- even though Pope Francis had left New York City for Philadelphia several hours earlier -- and that he wanted to talk to the world leaders to effect change, according to court documents, 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reported.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow were in the two motorcades, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

At around 6 p.m., Cannella, driving a Chevy Tahoe, allegedly followed one motorcade that also included NYPD, Secret Service and Port Authority police onto airport grounds. He was stopped at a security checkpoint and flashed a badge before being allowed through, police said. His SUV was similar to those driven by Secret Service when transporting VIPs.

Authorities: Man Followed 2 United Nations Motorcades On JFK Airport Grounds

At around 7:30 p.m., he was spotted again behind a second motorcade near the aeronautical area at JFK, authorities said.

When Cannella was stopped at another checkpoint, he showed his driver's license and a retired FDNY badge. But when pressed, he could not give the name of any Secret Service agent who had authorized him to be there.

Surveillance video captured both incidents, authorities said.

Court documents say that Cannella claims to be a New York City firefighter retired on disability.

Authorities said they found a 9-mm magazine containing five rounds of hollow-point ammunition and a foot-long hunting knife in Cannella's vehicle, as well as marijuana and walkie-talkies with earpieces, Aiello reported.

While he was questioning Cannella in an airport interrogation room, a detective, who had left the room briefly, returned to find that Cannella had ripped apart a chair, exposing sharp staples, authorities said. According to court documents, the suspect then told the detective: "You see this? I can hurt you really bad with this."

Cannella was arraigned Monday in Queens on charges of criminal impersonation, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, marijuana possession and weapons offenses. His bail was set at $500,000, and he's due back in court Oct. 13.

There was no comment Monday at Cannella's home, where someone inside called police to warn the media to stay off the property.

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