Man Found Outside U.S. Capitol With Machete

Photo by Syed F Hashemi on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday afternoon, a significant security incident occurred at the U.S. Capitol when Capitol Police arrested a man, identified as 23-year-old Jose Leonardo Marquez, for carrying a machete and a knife on the East Front of the Capitol building.

The events unfolded around 4:15 p.m., as detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. An officer on duty observed Marquez displaying unusual behavior: he was pacing back and forth before eventually sitting down on a ledge on the east side of the Capitol. Sensing something amiss, the officer approached Marquez to engage him in conversation, a routine procedure in such situations.

During this encounter, the officer, attuned to signs of potential danger, noticed that Marquez had a brick in his pocket. Marquez promptly discarded the brick when this was pointed out, but his actions raised further suspicions. It was then that Marquez, perhaps realizing his situation was precarious, voluntarily revealed a knife and placed it on the ledge beside him. Recognizing the potential threat, the officer called for backup and secured the knife, ensuring that it was no longer a risk.

The situation escalated when the officer, vigilant in his duty, noticed the handle of a machete hidden under Marquez’s clothing. In response, the officer drew his service weapon and commanded Marquez to raise his hands — a standard procedure when faced with a potentially armed and dangerous individual. Marquez complied with the order, allowing the officers to disarm him of the machete and proceed with the arrest without further incident.

Following his apprehension, Marquez was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon. These charges reflect the seriousness of carrying such weapons in a high-security area like the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger released a statement praising the officer’s quick thinking and keen observational skills. Chief Manger’s remarks underscored the constant vigilance required by the Capitol Police in their ongoing efforts to protect the Capitol complex and those within it.

As for Marquez’s presence in Washington, D.C., and his intentions, these aspects remain unclear. The Capitol Police stated that there is no current evidence indicating that Marquez had any intention to target a member of Congress. This lack of apparent motive adds a layer of mystery to an already concerning incident.

The arrest of Marquez by the U.S. Capitol Police serves as a reminder of the persistent security challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in protecting key national landmarks and government officials. The swift response and effective handling of the situation by the Capitol Police prevented what could have been a more serious security breach or a potential threat to those in the vicinity.

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