Police Negotiating With Man With Possible Explosives Near U.S. Capitol

FILE PHOTO: A woman speaks on her phone in front of The Library of Congress John Adams Building in Washington, U.S., November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
August 19, 2021

By Julio-Cesar Chavez and Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Law enforcement officials were negotiating with a man who said he had a bomb in his pick-up truck near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, causing nearby buildings to be evacuated as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene about a mile from the White House.

The U.S. Capitol Police said they did not know the man's motive but confirmed that he was livestreaming from the vehicle outside the Library of Congress, across the street from the Capitol.

Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger told reporters that the man parked his vehicle on a sidewalk and told an officer who approached him that he had a bomb while holding what appeared to be a detonator. Police do not know the man's motive, he said.

"My negotiators are hard at work trying to have a peaceful resolution to this incident," Manger said at a press conference.

A video livestreamed on Facebook appeared to show a man speaking inside a truck parked on a sidewalk outside of what looked like the Library of Congress.

"The revolution's on, it's here," the man said. "I'm trying to get (U.S. President) Joe Biden on the phone."

Police did not say whether the video was made by the suspect.

A U.S. law enforcement source said the presence of explosives had not been confirmed.

Several nearby buildings were evacuated, including the U.S. Supreme Court. People in the Madison office building were told to bar themselves in their offices. A nearby subway station was closed.

Police blocked off roads surrounding the Capitol complex as fire and rescue trucks headed to the area. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was sending a bomb technician to support police. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded.

The ordinarily crowded Capitol Hill area was relatively deserted, with the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate out of session.

High-security fencing was erected in the area after the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, but it had been removed by mid-July.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Lawrence Hurley, Sarah N. Lynch, Mark Hosenball and Julio-Cesar ChavezWriting by David Morgan Editing by Andy Sullivan, Chizu Nomiyama and Sonya Hepinstall)

Published under: Police , U.S. Capitol