The United States Capitol Police have arrested Donald Craighead, 44, of California outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters after officers observed a bayonet and machete in his vehicle in the early hours of Monday.
Around midnight, officers noticed Craighead’s Dodge Dakota pickup truck, which had a photo of an American flag in place of a license plate, and a swastika and other white supremacist symbols painted on it, according to a press release from the USCP.
After officers pulled the truck over, they found a bayonet and machete inside. Both items are illegal in the nation’s capital.
Craighead, from Oceanside, California, reportedly told law enforcement that he was “on patrol” before talking about “white supremacist ideology and other rhetoric pertaining to white supremacy,” according to the department.
The 44-year-old was arrested for possession of prohibited weapons and is being investigated by the USCP Investigations Division.
“This is good police work, plain and simple,” Police Chief Tom Manger said. “We applaud the officers’ keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest.”
The USCP said it is unclear if Craighead was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations in the area or if he has any ties to previous demonstrations in Washington, DC.
The arrest comes ahead of a Sept. 18 rally that is expected to feature right-wing extremists and that Capitol police have warned could result in violence, with fencing expected to be put back in place around the Capitol campus as officers prepare for the event.
The arrest also follows the Capitol Police arresting a man in late August who threatened to detonate a bomb outside the Library of Congress.
The man was ultimately found not to be in possession of an explosive device.