A man allegedly carrying a machete and a knife on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol was arrested Tuesday afternoon by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP).
According to the statement released by police, an officer saw a man pacing back and forth who then sat down on a ledge on the east side of the Capitol building at approximately 4:15 p.m.
The officer approached the man after witnessing “strange behavior” and after speaking for several minutes, noticed Marquez had a brick in his pocket, the release said.
He tossed the brick aside but also pulled out a knife and placed it on the ledge. The officer called for backup and secured the knife, police said.
“Then the officer noticed the handle of a machete under the man’s clothing,” USCP said. “The officer drew his service weapon and ordered the man to put his hands up.”
The man complied, and officers were able to take the machete away from him and make the arrest.
The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Jose Leonardo Marquez.
Marquez has been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon, USCP said.
“This is another example of the vigilance and strong intuition of our USCP officers,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement. “I am proud of our cops who routinely work to keep everyone around the U.S. Capitol safe.”
USCP said it is not yet clear what Marquez was doing in Washington, D.C. and that there is no evidence at the moment that he was trying to target a member of Congress.
The Hill has reached out to USCP for more information.
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