A Michigan man has been arrested after Capitol Police extracted him from a suspicious SUV parked in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Capitol Police announced on Tuesday.
“This morning at about 9:30 a.m., a man pulled his SUV up in front of the Supreme Court,” Deputy Chief Jason Bell told reporters during a press conference. “It was illegally parked. Our officers immediately responded. The man refused to talk, made a statement to the effect of, ‘The time for talking is done.'”
The deputy said that police backed off and had their crisis negotiation team get involved.
“The man was refusing to speak, and at approximately 11 o’clock, our teams moved in and removed him from the vehicle and placed him under arrest,” Bell added. “At this time, no weapons have been found. It is currently under investigation, and it’s still an active crime scene.”
Police identified the suspect as Dale Paul Melvin, a 55-year-old from Kimball, Mich.
Court records from St. Clair County, which includes that town, show several alleged traffic violations and one domestic violence case under that name.
Capitol Police first announced their investigation of a “suspicious vehicle” in front of the Supreme Court at 9:51 a.m. Eastern Time, minutes before the start time for its second day of oral arguments for its fall session.
Capitol Police would not answer questions about whether the incident was politically motivated. Multiple reporters described hearing loud noises outside of Congress, and the U.K. Telegraph cited others describing a “controlled explosion.”
“Loud bang/smoke outside the scotus,” CNN’s law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild tweeted. “Just heard tactical commands for suspect to leave vehicle.”
Fox News congressional reporter Chad Pergram had a similar observation.
“USCP just detonated some sort of package associated with the suspicious vehicle between the Supreme Court and Capitol. Loud bang was heard across Capitol Hill,” he tweeted. “USCP says ‘there is no cause for alarm.'”
Capitol Police signaled that they would release more information soon via a press release. They did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s press inquiry.
Though authorities stayed mum on the details of their ongoing investigation, the press conference signals increasing openness on the part of Capitol Police, which did not field questions from reporters in the immediate weeks after the Jan. 6 attack.
The incident falls weeks after a North Carolina man was accused of making bomb threats outside the U.S. Library of Congress on Aug. 19.
Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, allegedly drove his pickup truck onto the public sidewalk in front of the library and claimed to have a bomb, leading to a standoff with authorities that reported stretched from the early morning until 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Roseberry did not, in fact, have a bomb, authorities say. But he was hit with charges of threatening to use a weapons of mass destruction and explosives.
Authorities say that Roseberry livestreamed tirades against President Joe Biden on Facebook.
“We here,” Roseberry allegedly said during the livestream. “The fucking revolution starts today Joe Biden. And before you go crackin’ any pop on me, you better get your military experts out, ask them motherfuckers what a 7 pound keg of gun powder will do with 2.5 pound of tannerite on that motherfucker.”
No political motivations have yet been alleged in Melvin’s case.
[Image via Chip Somedevilla/Getty Images]
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