Capitol Police arrest driver of suspicious vehicle outside Supreme Court

Washington — The U.S. Capitol Police took a Michigan man into custody Tuesday after responding to a suspicious vehicle in front of the Supreme Court, the agency said.

Jason Bell,  the deputy chief of the Capitol Police’s Operational Services Bureau, said the incident began around 9:30 a.m., when the man, later identified as Dale Paul Melvin, 55, of Kimball, Michigan, illegally parked his Chevy Tahoe in front of the Supreme Court. Officers responded, and the suspect refused to talk, instead stating “the time for talking is done,” Bell said during a press conference.

Crisis negotiation officers then attempted to speak with the man, and after he refused to engage, Capitol Police teams moved in and removed the suspect from the vehicle. He was placed under arrest for failure to obey and assault on a police officer, the department said.

No weapons were found, though police are still processing the vehicle and an investigation is ongoing, Bell said. Law enforcement do not know Melvin’s motivation at this time, but the department said Melvin came to the Capitol complex in August and made “concerning” comments.

U.S. Capitol Police arrest Dale Paul Melvin of Kimball, Michigan, who parked a vehicle outside Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on October 5, 2021.

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier Tuesday, police urged people to stay away from the area near the high court, which is located directly across the street from the Capitol building. The law enforcement agency also closed roads surrounding the court.

The Supreme Court convened Tuesday at 10 a.m. for its second day of oral arguments, with eight of the justices taking the bench for the question-and-answer sessions for two cases. Justice Brett Kavanaugh participated remotely after testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday, though he is not exhibiting symptoms.

Live audio of the arguments indicated they proceeded without interruption despite the events outside the court.

The incident comes weeks after a North Carolina man parked his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress and claimed to have explosives. The threat led to a five-hour-long standoff with police and prompted the evacuation of several buildings in the area. The man, identified as Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, of Grover, North Carolina, ultimately surrendered to police.

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