U.S. Capitol Police arrested a California man on weapons charges after finding multiple illegal knives in a pickup adorned with white supremacist iconography near the Democratic National Committee's Capitol Hill headquarters.
Capitol Police said Monday that 44-year-old Donald Craighead was charged with possession of prohibited weapons after a patrolling Special Operations Division officer noticed that the Dodge Dakota did not have a visible license plate and pulled the driver over around midnight. Police said that the officer then spotted a bayonet and machete, both of which are types of knives that are illegal in Washington, D.C., inside the truck. Capitol Police also said that Craighead espoused white supremacist rhetoric while he was pulled over.
Photos of his car released by police showed Nazi swastikas on the truck’s side mirror; a pentagram on the steering wheel; what appears to be the word “confederate” across the dashboard and other symbols. A pair of horns were also affixed to the truck’s front grill.
Capitol Police said it is further investigating the incident but does not initially believe Craighead was linked to the upcoming protests planned around the Capitol complex later this week. Officials have been preparing for that rally in hopes of preventing a repeat of the massive security failures on Jan 6., when a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump swarmed the Capitol, overwhelmed Capitol Police and temporarily disrupted Congress' certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
“We applaud the officers’ keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest,” USCP Chief Tom Manger said in a statement announcing the arrest.
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