A 44-year-old man named Donald Craighead was arrested in Washington, D.C., near the Democratic National Committee headquarters on Monday, September 13, 2021. He told officers he was “on patrol” after they found weapons in his vehicle, Capitol Police said.
Here’s what you need to know about Craighead:
1. He Was Parked Near the Democratic National Committee Headquarters With a Bayonet & a Machete
U.S. Capitol Police said that Craighead was parked near the Democratic National Committee headquarters, NPR reported. They said he had a bayonet and a machete in his Dodge Dakota truck, and both are illegal in D.C. The police shared photos on Twitter showing his truck with both interior and exterior views.
According to a press statement, a Special Operation Division Officer was patroling when he noticed the truck around midnight. It stood out to him because it had white supremacist symbols and was outside the DNC headquarters.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement about the arrest: “This is good police work plain and simple. We applaud the officers’ keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest.”
2. The Truck Had White Supremacist Symbols, Including a Swastika
Capitol Police shared that the truck had white supremacist symbols on it, including swastikas that can be seen in the photos the police shared on Twitter. One was on a side mirror and another was drawn inside the truck.
The truck had an American flag on the back instead of a license plate. It was pulled over on the 500 block of South Capitol Street, SW, according to the press statement.
3. Craighead Said He Was ‘On Patrol’
Craighead told authorities that he was “on patrol,” ABC News reported. Authorities said he spoke about white supremacist ideology when he was questioned.
Police said in a statement that it was not clear why Craighead was in D.C. or if he was planning to attend any protests or had ties to other cases in the region.
4. Craighead Is From Oceanside, California
Officials said that Craighead is from Oceanside, California. He was arrested for possession of prohibited weapons, NPR reported.
5. A Protest at the Capitol Is Planned for Saturday
Police did not reveal if Craighead said anything about a protest planned in Washington, D.C., at the Capitol for Saturday. The protest, called Justice for J6, is taking place on September 18. The participants are protesting the people who have been detained for participating in the Capitol riots on January 6.
ABC News reported that authorities were planning to put back fencing around the U.S. Capitol before the protest. CNN reported that if fencing is approved, it will likely be smaller than what they had after January 6. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also hosting a security briefing to discuss preparations before the event, a source told CNN.
All available Capitol Police officers will be working that day, along with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department having an increased presence, ABC News reported.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said about the protest: “We are closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly. After Jan. 6, we made department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally. I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”