|''I just wanted to be a father,'' said Gerhartsreiter.|
'Rockefeller' stumbles on questions of his past
During the first moments of a four-hour police interrogation, the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller spoke wistfully about the 7-year-old daughter he has been accused of kidnapping.
"I just wanted to be a father - that's all I wanted to be," he said. "I just wanted to be with her."
But when asked about anything else, even basic questions about his life, he gave vague, sometimes rambling answers. He said he does not remember much of his childhood and is not even sure where he was born.
"I'm not completely clear," he said. "I forgot a lot of things."
Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was arrested Aug. 2 in Baltimore after he allegedly snatched his daughter during a supervised visit in Boston. After his arrest, authorities determined that he is a German national who moved to the United States in the late 1970s.
During a court hearing yesterday, a video recording of portions of the police interrogation was played as Gerhartsreiter's lawyers asked a judge to prevent a jury from hearing most of what he said.
About 14 minutes into the interrogation, an FBI agent told him it is a crime to lie to a federal law enforcement agent.
"In that case, I better not say anything because I don't want to be accused of lying later," he said.
His lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, asked a judge to suppress everything his client said after voicing the concern about being accused of lying. The lawyer contended that remark invoked his right to remain silent.
But prosecutors said that Gerhartsreiter did not make it clear he was unwilling to continue the interview, and that he spoke to them for several more hours during the interrogation at the FBI's offices in Baltimore.
Judge Frank Gaziano did not indicate when he would rule on the request. Gerhartsreiter, 48, is scheduled to stand trial next month on charges of parental kidnapping, two assault charges, and giving a false name to police.