The Ruskin letter carrier who landed his gyrocopter on Capitol Hill says he wasn't concerned about getting shot down as he made his final approach.
Doug Hughes told ABC's "Good Morning America" he doesn't believe the government would have shot down a "61-year-old mail man in a flying bicycle."
Hughes was arrested last week. He was carrying letters for each member of Congress to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics. He faces charges of violating national airspace and operating an unregistered aircraft.
He has returned to Ruskin, where is is under house arrest until a May 8 court hearing in Washington.
He says it's now up to the American people to decide whether to "catch the ball that I threw." If they do, he says they can "fix the problem" of corruption in Congress.The letter carrier from Ruskin who caused a full-scale security review in Washington when he violated national airspace by landing his gyrocopter on Capitol Hill expressed frustration Sunday that his message wasn't getting through.
Hughes will check in with his probation officer at the federal courthouse in Tampa. He will be fitted with an ankle monitoring bracelet and begin house arrest.
He had hoped to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics by deliberately breaking the law to deliver 535 letters, one for each member of Congress. Instead, the overwhelming focus of news coverage has been about the gaps he exposed in national security.
"We've got bigger problems in this country than worrying about whether the security around DC is ironclad," he told The Associated Press. "We need to be worried about the piles of money that are going into Congress."
Hughes awaits prosecution on charges of violating national airspace and operating an unregistered aircraft. He spent a night in jail after Capitol Police arrested him. The ultralight aircraft and its cargo - a U.S. Postal Service bin carrying the letters - were seized.
Asked Sunday if he too thinks he's a patriot or simply crazy, Hughes said "everyone gets to make up their own mind about me, that's what I'd say."
"But do you consider yourself a patriot?" a reporter asked.
"No, I'm a mailman," he said.