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Capitol Police Say They Arrested A Man With A Machete And Swastikas On His Truck Near The DNC

The man was arrested not far from where a pipe bomb was left on Jan. 5 and just days before another right-wing rally is planned for the Capitol.

Posted on September 13, 2021, at 12:11 p.m. ET

US Capitol Police

Donald Craighead's truck is seen parked near the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

WASHINGTON — The US Capitol Police arrested a man with “multiple knives” in his truck, which was painted with white supremacist symbols, outside of the Democratic National Committee headquarters Monday morning, according to the department.

A Capitol Police officer spotted the truck outside of the DNC around midnight and noticed that it had an American flag instead of a license plate and had several symbols on it, including a swastika. The driver of the truck, 44-year-old Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California, told the officer he was “‘on patrol’ and began talking about white supremacist ideology and other rhetoric pertaining to white supremacy,” according to Capitol Police.

Craighead had a bayonet and a machete inside his truck, the department said. He was arrested Monday morning for possession of prohibited weapons. Photos of the vehicle shared by the department on Twitter showed a swastika painted over a sideview mirror, horns jutting out of the front of the truck, and what appeared to be the word “CONFEDERATE” in all capital letters above the steering wheel.

Capitol Police pulled Craighead over in the 500 block of South Capitol Street SW, near where a still-unknown person placed a pipe bomb outside of the DNC on Jan. 5. Another pipe bomb was left outside of the RNC that morning, and the FBI continues to seek information to identify the would-be bomber.

“At this time, it is not clear if he was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations or if he has ties to any previous cases in the area,” the department said.

The arrest comes at the Capitol Hill area is on high alert. Just last month, a North Carolina man parked a pickup truck outside of the Library of Congress and entered a standoff with police, claiming to have multiple explosives.

And a short-lived Trump campaign staffer is planning to hold a rally at the Capitol this weekend on behalf of the people arrested on Jan. 6, raising concerns among local residents and eyebrows among law enforcement. DC’s Metropolitan Police Department has activated its full force for the event. Capitol Police have declined to share their plans, but said they are “closely monitoring” the rally and “planning accordingly.”

Still, as Washingtonian reported, far-right groups like the Proud Boys who were involved in the violence at the Capitol in January have actively discouraged their members from attending the Sept. 18 rally.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.