Capitol police arrest man with machete, bayonet in car painted with swastika near DNC HQ
- U.S. Capitol Police arrested a man who had banned weapons in a truck near Democratic National Committee headquarters.
- The vehicle had swastikas and other white supremacist symbols painted on it, according to the department.
- The arrest came less than a week before people were set to gather at the Capitol for a rally in support of the hundreds jailed in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol invasion.
U.S. Capitol police arrested a man who was carrying banned weapons — including a bayonet and a machete — in a truck scrawled with White supremacist symbols that was outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, the department said Monday.
The driver, 44-year-old Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California, claimed to the cops that he was "on patrol" and started talking about "white supremacist ideology," the U.S. Capitol Police said.
The arrest was made Monday morning, less than a week before people were set to gather at the Capitol for a rally in support of the hundreds jailed in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol invasion. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said later Monday that a fence will be constructed before that rally.
The USCP said it was not yet clear if Craighead "was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations or if he has ties to any previous cases in the area."
A Special Operation Division officer noticed Craighead's vehicle, a Dodge Dakota pickup truck, around midnight, according to the department.
The truck had "a swastika and other white supremacist symbols painted on it," according to the Capitol Police. It also displayed a picture of an American flag in place of a license plate.
Craighead was arrested early Monday morning for possessing the prohibited weapons, police said.
"This is good police work plain and simple," Manger said in a statement. "We applaud the officers' keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest."
"This is an excellent example of the work our officers do every day," Operational Services Bureau Deputy Chief Jason Bell said in a statement. "We are so proud of these officers for their vigilance."
The arrest came less than a month after another man, North Carolina resident Floyd Ray Roseberry, forced the U.S. Supreme Court and other buildings to evacuate after he drove his pickup onto a Capitol Hill sidewalk and threatened to ignite a bomb.
Before he was arrested, Roseberry recorded himself speaking about a coming revolution and demanding to talk to President Joe Biden. He posted those videos to Facebook before the website took down his profile.
Security on Capitol Hill ramped up dramatically after the Jan. 6 invasion, when hundreds of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building where Congress had gathered to confirm Biden's Electoral College victory.
After the attack, a 7-foot-tall fence was erected around the Capitol and thousands of National Guard members were deployed to the area. Those measures were in place through Biden's inauguration, which was already subject to precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That fencing will make a return in preparation for a "Justice for J6" rally set for Saturday, Manger told reporters at the Capitol.
"The fence will go up a day or two before and if everything goes well it will come down very soon after," he said after briefing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on the upcoming demonstration.
The event's organizer, former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, told CNBC there would be no violence at the "peaceful protest."
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