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Capitol police pull man from suspicious SUV parked in front of Supreme Court


U.S. Capitol Police vehicles block a street as investigates a suspicious vehicle (C) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2021.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

U.S. Capitol Police said Tuesday they extracted a man from an SUV parked in front of the Supreme Court building and placed him in custody.

“Everyone is safe,” police said in a tweet.

The suspect, identified as Dale Paul Melvin, 55, of Kimball, Michigan, was arrested for failure to obey and assault on a police officer, police said later Tuesday.

He had previously traveled to the Capitol complex in August “and made concerning statements,” police said.

The incident did not disrupt the court’s proceedings, which began shortly after officers responded to the suspicious vehicle.

US Capitol Police arrest a suspect who parked a vehicle outside Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 5, 2021. – Police identified the man as Dale Paul Melvin, 55, of Kimball, Michigan.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

The SUV, a Chevy Tahoe, was illegally parked outside the Supreme Court building around 9:30 a.m. ET, USCP deputy chief Jason Bell said at a press conference later Tuesday morning.

When officers arrived, the man refused to communicate with them, though he said something to the effect of “the time for talking is done,” Bell said.

Officers then “backed off” and a crisis negotiator was called in, but the suspect still refused to talk, Bell said.

The USCP closed down multiple streets on Capitol Hill as they investigated the suspicious vehicle. They advised people to stay away from the area.

Police set off a flash bang to force the man out of the vehicle, NBC News reported. Before doing so, they reportedly issued a warning that “a loud bang may be heard in the area,” but “there is no cause for alarm, and no action needs to be taken by Congressional Staff.”

Police declined to detail their methods at the press conference. No weapons have been found in the vehicle, Bell said, though the area remains an active crime scene.

The heavy police presence, which included dozens of officers and multiple police dogs, came on the second day of the Supreme Court’s new term. Justices were present in the courtroom for in-person oral arguments, which began on schedule at 10 a.m. ET.

The suspicious vehicle investigation also came just hours before a court hearing for a man, Floyd Ray Roseberry, who in August parked his pickup truck in front of the Library of Congress and claimed to be possessing explosives. The threat forced the evacuation of the Supreme Court and other buildings on Capitol Hill.

A Facebook account under Melvin’s name, which appeared to show the same location and birthday as those identified by police, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That account in 2016 shared numerous right-wing memes and images, with some displaying messages criticizing Democrats and at least one expressing support for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.



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2021-10-05 15:15:24

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