A man pretended to be a three-star U.S. Army general and had a chartered helicopter land at the headquarters of a major technology company in North Carolina in order to impress a woman, a federal agent testified in court Monday.

Christian Desgroux, 57, appeared before a federal magistrate in Raleigh on Monday. The federal magistrate ordered to keep him in jail pending an upcoming arraignment. Desgroux has been charged with pretending to be a military officer, and if convicted can be sentenced to three years in prison, according to WRAL.

The bizarre incident took place Nov. 6, 2017, when Desgroux landed the helicopter at the headquarters of SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, Department of Homeland Security Agent Tony Bell testified.

SAS, which is a privately held technology company, is said to be among the largest in the state of North Carolina, consisting of 14,000 employees worldwide, with more than $3 billion in revenue in 2017.

When the 57-year-old jumped out of the helicopter wearing a "full military battle dress uniform," he reportedly saluted the company's security officers, who "actually saluted him back," and told them he had come to pick up a female employee for a classified briefing at Fort Bragg that had reportedly been authorized by President Donald Trump, according to the special agent.

Police sirens Above is a representational image of police cars and their sirens. Photo: Pixabay

The woman, who has not been identified, said Desgroux was a longtime acquaintance and she knew him for about 20 years. She said she expected him to arrive in a car, according to the News & Observer.

"She said they did nothing," Bell said. "They flew around for 30 minutes. She had no idea he was flying a helicopter to pick her up." 

"She didn’t know what to make of it," Bell told the judge. "She just went along with it."

He stated the woman assumed Desgroux wanted to impress her and pursue a romantic relationship.

Bell testified on Monday that investigators suspect the 57-year-old is mentally ill, but did not provide any further details in that context.

Desgroux, who is a native of Chile, became a U.S. citizen in 2016 and currently works as a car mechanic out of his own garage. He also faces several other charges for previous allegations, which include a misdemeanor assault on his stepdaughter, and his violation of a protective order taken out by an estranged wife, the News & Observer reported.

The November flight was also not his first time chartering a helicopter to impress a woman; he apparently made another trip to Jacksonville earlier last year, where he hired a pilot to land at a KOA Kampground so he could meet a woman.

Desgroux's defense attorney, Andrew McCoppin stated before these charges in the past year, the most trouble his client has ever been were related to traffic violations.

"It appears that a number of things have snowballed to where we are today," McCoppin said.

Federal Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers said Monday they want continued detention for Desgroux.

"The defendant has engaged in substantial dishonesty," Numbers stated.