A man is taken into custody after US Capitol police ‘removed’ him from a suspicious SUV outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC.
A loud explosion and smoke were visible in video from the scene, before officers arrived and entered the vehicle to apprehend the man, identified as 55-year-old Del Paul Melvin, of Michigan. He was dragged to the floor, tied up, and taken into custody with his hands behind his back.
Jason Bell, deputy chief of operational services for the US Capitol Police, said officers responded after Mr Melvin was illegally parked in front of the US Supreme Court.
“The man refused to speak, making a statement to the effect of ‘It’s time to talk’,” Mr Bell said.
Mr Bell said officers walked in and arrested Mr Melvin after refusing to speak with the negotiators.
The standoff came to a dramatic end when Capitol Police closed the streets around the Supreme Court at 9.30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, October 5. It was the second day of the High Court’s term, which is expected to address controversial issues that may have shaped the country for a generation, including abortion laws, gun rights, religious freedom and the death penalty.
Eyewitness accounts of a “controlled explosion” and smoke surfaced online as US Capitol police said in a statement they were trying to speak to the driver, who had remained in the vehicle.
“Just heard an explosion outside the US Capitol. It looked like something had blown up,” said Jack Posobiec, senior editor at Human Events.
“As I was going upstairs, we heard what sounded to me like a small controlled explosion,” he added in a live video from the scene.
Chris Marquette, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, said he saw smoke after hearing a “loud bang”, which can be heard in the video taken from about a block away.
An alert was issued shortly before Capitol Police announced plans to “obstruct” the vehicle. the new York Times Reporter Emily Cochrane.
“A loud bang can be heard in the area. There is no cause for alarm, and no action needs to be taken by Congressional staff,” Alert said.
US Capitol Police said the man in the SUV was “extracted” from the vehicle and taken into custody. He was identified as Dale Paul Melvin, 55, of Kimball, Michigan.
“Everyone is safe,” he said.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / US Capitol Police