Capitol Police arrest man with machete and bayonet in a truck close to DNC headquarters

The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a man carrying a bayonet and machete in a truck with white Supremacist symbols near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington on Monday.

Donald Craighead, 44, of Oceanside, California, was arrested for possession of banned weapons. Both bayonets and machetes are illegal in Washington, according to police.

“It is not clear whether he wanted to take part in upcoming demonstrations or whether he has ties to previous cases in the region,” a police press release said.

Local and state law enforcement agencies prepared for a September 18 rally to misrepresent the arrests of members of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol as politically motivated.

Craighead was arrested early Monday near DNC headquarters on the 500 block on South Capitol Street, about half a mile south of the U.S. Capitol.

A source knowledgeable of the situation said Craighead was not interested in the DNC.

A patrolman noticed the Dodge Dakota pickup with a swastika and other white racist symbols in front of DNC headquarters around midnight. An image of an American flag replaced the truck’s license plate.

Photos posted on the US Capitol Police Twitter account show a black truck with a red stripe on the side and antlers mounted through the front grille.

A swastika was drawn on the driver’s side mirror and a quarter was placed in the center of a swastika drawn just behind the door. The word “Confederate” was written across the dashboard, with a Nordic rune common in iconography of white supremacy replacing the letter “O”.

According to police, officers saw the bayonet and machete inside the truck. Craighead told police he was “on patrol” and “started talking about the ideology of white supremacy,” according to a press release.

“We are grateful that the Capitol Police are containing this threat and cannot comment on the details of this ongoing investigation,” said DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale in a prepared statement. “DNC employees are real people who work tirelessly for better.” America and your safety and well-being – physical, mental and emotional – are the top priorities of DNC leadership. This suspect’s apparent views are despicable, and violence and white supremacy have no place in our country.

Organizers of the upcoming Capitol rioters’ demonstration said the rally would be peaceful, but law enforcement officials have prepared for an increased presence on Saturday.

Outside the Capitol building, police set up additional security checks on Monday to verify the identity of staff who tried to approach the building. A fence to be erected before the Saturday demonstration had not yet been erected.

The Capitol has been the site of several incidents since a mob attempted to stop the confirmation of the presidential election results on January 6.

The night before the riot, two pipe bombs were placed near the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees, but federal agencies have not yet arrested a suspect wearing a gray hoodie.

Then, in April, a US Capitol Police officer was killed when a car crashed into a barrier in front of the Capitol. In August, police arrested a North Carolina man who claimed to be carrying a bomb in a pickup truck near the Capitol.

Check back on USA TODAY to learn more about this developing story.

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