Capitol Police Arrest A Man With A Bayonet And Machete Near DNC Headquarters

Sep 13, 2021
Originally published on September 13, 2021 6:10 pm

Updated September 13, 2021 at 2:55 PM ET

Authorities arrested a California man early Monday who had a bayonet and machete inside his pickup truck parked near the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

According to a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police, a special operation division officer noticed a Dodge Dakota truck emblazoned with a swastika and other white supremacist symbols around midnight. In place of a license plate, the truck had a picture of the American flag.

Officers arrested the driver, Donald Craighead, 44, of Oceanside, Calif., over possession of prohibited weapons, including a bayonet and machete.

"This is good police work plain and simple," Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement. "We applaud the officers' keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest."

According to the Capitol Police, Craighead claimed he was "on patrol" and spoke about white supremacy.

The arrest was made less than a week before people are set to gather at the U.S. Capitol for a rally in support of the hundreds of pro-Trump supporters who were charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection.

"At this time, it is not clear if he was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations or if he has ties to any previous cases in the area," the department said.

Sam Cornale, executive director at the DNC, thanked the Capitol Police for containing the threat.

"DNC employees are real human beings who fight tirelessly for a better America, and their safety, security, and well-being — physical, mental and emotional — are the top priorities of DNC leadership," Cornale said in a statement. "This suspect's apparent views are despicable, and violence and white supremacy have no place in our country."

Less than a month ago, Capitol Police took a North Carolina man into custody who had claimed to have a bomb in his pickup in front of the Library of Congress.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit