WASHINGTON – A man who told police he had an explosive device in his truck surrendered Thursday after an hour-long stand-by near the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Police said.
“He is in custody and that part is done,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told reporters shortly after the suspect got out of his truck and crawled on the ground to be arrested. “He gave up and did not resist. Our people were able to take him into custody without incident.”
Capitol Police said they searched the truck and found possible bomb-making materials, but no viable explosives.
Manger identified the suspect as Floyd Ray Roseberry, whose last known address was in Grover, North Carolina. Roseberry, who is white, posted videos of her truck on social media earlier Thursday.
The incident began around 9:15 a.m. when Roseberry drove a black pickup truck on the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress and told an officer that “he had a bomb,” Capitol Police said.
“The officer noticed what appeared to be a detonator in the man’s hand,” police said.
Officers immediately evacuated nearby buildings, including the Library of Congress buildings and the Cannon House Office Building.
Two law enforcement officials, the man communicated with police on the spot by writing on a dryer board.
In several Facebook livestream videos on an account identified as “Ray Roseberry,” he talked about health care and complained about undocumented immigrants. He repeatedly claimed that he was about to start a revolution.
The videos show him driving through Alexandria, Virginia and then parts of Washington, including near the Washington Monument. The videos then show him parked on the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress where the standoff took place.
In videos directed largely directly at President Joe Biden, Roseberry made several demands, including calling for US airstrikes in Afghanistan and Biden’s resignation, saying he would end his standoff if Biden left office.
Roseberry repeatedly complained about how health insurance did not cover his or his wife’s illnesses, quickly followed by complaints about immigrants. He claimed that his wife had cancer, that her insurance would not cover her surgery, and that he was still paying for the procedure. In the next sentence, he wrongly complained that undocumented immigrants receive free health care.
In the videos, he repeatedly says he had an explosive device and yells at pedestrians to move away from his truck.
Manger said investigators had seen a propane tank in the back of the truck, which was “worrying.”
Facebook removed Roseberry’s videos as the incident paralyzed the area around the Capitol. “We are in touch with law enforcement and have removed the suspect’s videos and profile from Facebook and Instagram,” a statement said.
It was unclear what prompted Roseberry’s decision to abandon itself after the roughly five hours of standoff. “As far as we could tell, it was just his decision to surrender at the time,” Manger said.
The Library of Congress is across the street from the Supreme Court and one block from the Capitol. The House and Senate are in a scheduled recess, so the majority of members and staff were not in the office buildings.
Several streets around the site were closed off, as was the nearest subway station, Capitol South. Capitol Police said the area was reopened shortly before noon. 17.00
In Cleveland County, North Carolina, where Roseberry lives, law enforcement officials told reporters they had secured his residence and obtained warrants to search his property.
In an interview, Crystal Dancy, Roseberry’s ex-wife, said “he is mentally unstable” but that she had never imagined he would do “something of this size”. Dancy said Roseberry had not expressed any major anti-government sentiment or radical political views, but she claimed he was prone to “outbursts”.
Kyle Stewart, Kelly O’Donnell, Tom Winter, Haley Talbot, Ben Collins, Brandy Zadrozny, Didi Martinez, Rima Abdelkader, Suzanne Ciechalski, Mohammed Syed and Sara Mhaidli the contribution.