US Capitol Police say they arrested a California man who had multiple knives in his truck, which had a swastika and other White supremacist symbols painted on it, near the Democratic National Committee headquarters early Monday morning.
Officers on patrol noticed the Dodge Dakota pickup truck around midnight on Sunday. Police say the truck didn’t have a license plate but instead a picture of an American flag.
The officers pulled over the truck and noticed a bayonet and machete, which are illegal in the District of Columbia. The driver, identified as 44-year-old Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California, was arrested.
The arrest comes while law enforcement officials are already bracing for potential clashes and unrest during an upcoming right-wing rally on Saturday in Washington, DC, according to an internal Capitol Police memo reviewed by CNN last week.
The Capitol Police have formally asked the Capitol Police Board that temporary fencing be put in place again around the complex ahead of the rally, a source familiar with the planning told CNN. The Capitol Police Board will make the final call, but the recommendation will weigh heavily in its final decision.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for a security briefing in her office Monday morning with US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger to discuss security preparations for the rally, according to a source familiar. The top Democratic and Republican lawmakers on the House Administration Committee are also expected to receive separate security briefings in the coming days, another source said.
Monday’s incident also comes a month after an hours-long standoff near the US Capitol on August 19 during which a 49-year-old male suspect from North Carolina claimed to have an explosive device. That incident prompted multiple buildings in the area to be evacuated. After that suspect was arrested, USCP said that no bomb was found in the suspect’s truck but that he did possess suspected bomb-making material.
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