Ian Patrick, FISM News
A tense scene played out near Capitol Hill yesterday as a man drove a truck onto the sidewalk near the Library of Congress and claimed that he had enough explosive material to level two city blocks. This led to a 5 hour standoff with police, and ended when the man crawled out of his truck and surrendered without further conflict.
The man was initially approached by an officer, whom he told about the bomb in his truck. Police promptly blocked off multiple streets and evacuated nearby buildings, including the Supreme Court, as they negotiated with the man.
At some points during the standoff, the man livestreamed from his truck claiming he was “ready to die for a cause.” Based on some footage posted by other accounts on social media, the man was upset with President Joe Biden and wanted to get him on a phone call but did not specifically say what he wanted. He complained about his lack of healthcare and the U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan who “want to go home.” He also made vague, unfounded assertions about an uprising saying “the revolution’s on . . . it’s here.”
Police maintained contact with the man throughout the standoff using whiteboards. Eventually they used a drone to get a phone to the man’s truck to speak with him. He refused to use the phone, but U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger relayed that soon after they delivered the phone, the man exited his truck and willfully surrendered.
[The man] had parked a truck and was sitting in a truck for several hours in front of the Library of Congress, and he had advised that he had explosives and over the course of time, we tried to negotiate with [him]. We first started doing that with a whiteboard, just writing messages back and forth. We used a robot to get a telephone down to him, but he would not use the telephone. But shortly after we delivered the telephone, he got out of the vehicle and surrendered.
During a press briefing after the arrest, Chief Manger noted that they began an investigation into the incident and the man. Police were able to determine that he is from North Carolina and that he has no military background. Police also believe that he acted alone.
As for the explosive device in the car, the man said multiple times in his livestream video that he was not able to set it off manually. According to the man, the device he held would have been set off if a bullet struck his car window.
However, Chief Manger said that officers determined that there was no bomb or threat present after the man surrendered himself, but they did find materials that potentially could have been used to make a bomb:
We had information and evidence of what was in the bed of his truck. And there were some things that were concerning, but ultimately we were able to take him into custody without incident. But there were certain things that . . . we saw in the truck. For instance a propane, propane gas container. But obviously at this point, we think that’s safe.
Officials are still investigating what led the suspect to make the threats. Chief Manger noted that the man’s mother had recently passed away. Reuters reports that the man’s ex-wife said he was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and had threatened her multiple times with firearms in the past.