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UPDATES: Suspicious vehicle outside Supreme Court, explosives detonated; suspect arrested

The Supreme Court. (Joe Sohm/Dreamstime/TNS)
October 05, 2021

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, arrested a suspect and detonated an explosive package associated with the suspect vehicle.

USCP said “The suspect has been identified as Dale Paul Melvin (DOB: 9/4/66) of Kimball, MI.”

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted, “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. USCP says ‘there is no cause for alarm.'”

Another Twitter user shared footage of a plume of smoke rising a few blocks from the Washington Monument.

The arrest and explosion come about two hours after USCP announced it was responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near the Supreme Court.

The official Twitter account for the USCP initially tweeted, “NOW: We are investigating a suspicious vehicle in front of the Supreme Court along First Street, NE. Please stay away from the area. We will provide more information as soon as we can.”

In subsequent tweets, USCP said, “The following road closures are in effect: – First Street between Independence Avenue, SE and Constitution Avenue, NE – Second Street between East Capitol Street and Constitution Avenue, NE – East Capitol Street between First and Second Streets, NE.”

“We are continuing to investigate. We will provide more information as soon as we can,” USCP added.

NBC News reporter Haley Talbot tweeted footage of the police response near the Supreme Court.

“The scene from East Capitol as USCP investigates a suspicious vehicle in front of the Supreme Court,” Talbot tweeted.

At a press conference, USCP Deputy Chief Jason Bell said the suspect illegally parked his vehicle in front of the Supreme Court at around 9:30 a.m. ET, refused to talk and said “the time for talking is done.”

Bell said that at around 11:00 a.m., police moved in and removed the suspect from his vehicle and placed him under arrest. Bell said no weapons were found in the vehicle.

The incident happened one day after the Supreme Court began their latest term on Monday for the start of their first in-person cases in 19 months due to COVID-19 related restrictions, according to Reuters. This latest court term will include cases on gun rights and abortion.

In August, USCP arrested a suspect, identified as Floyd Roy Roseberry of Grover, N.C who parked his vehicle outside the U.S. Capitol and claimed he had a bomb. During that standoff, Roy live-streamed on Facebook his demands for a phone call from President Joe Biden.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Roseberry eventually “got out of the vehicle and surrendered” and was taken into custody “without incident.” Manger said Roseberry had suffered “some losses of family” including his mother’s recent death, and family members told police “there were other issues he was dealing with.”