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Oceanside man arrested outside DNC building in Washington, D.C. with machete, bayonet

Capitol police arrested an Oceanside man who had a machete and bayonet inside his truck, which bore a swastika, outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters early Monday.

Donald Craighead, 44, told police he was “on patrol,” and spoke about White supremacist ideology, Capitol police said in a news release. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of prohibited weapons.

Around midnight, a Special Operation Division officer noticed a Dodge Dakota pickup outside of the DNC headquarters. Painted on the pickup were a swastika and other symbols police described as being “White supremacist.” The agency did not further describe the symbols.

Capitol police found swastikas inside and outside a Dodge Dakota pickup truck driven by Oceanside resident Donald Craighead early Monday near the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C. early Monday. Inside the truck, police said they found a machete and a bayonet.

(Courtesy U.S. Capitol Police )

There was no license plate on the pickup. In its spot was an American flag.

The officer pulled over the pickup along South Capitol Street, SW, near the DNC building, which sits roughly a quarter-mile south of Independence Avenue, along the south end of the Capitol building.

American flag in license plate holder

U.S. Capitol Police said they arrested Oceanside resident Donald Craighead, 44, after a traffic stop near the Democratic National Committee headquarters early Monday. An American flag was placed where the license plate should have been.

(Courtesy U.S. Capitol Police)

During the traffic stop, the officer spotted the bayonet and machete inside the truck. Both weapons are illegal in Washington, D.C.

Craighead talked to the officer about White supremacist ideology and other related rhetoric Capitol police said. The agency did not specify what Craighead allegedly said.

Dodge Dakota

U.S. Capitol Police arrested Oceanside resident Donald Craighead, 44, after pulling him over as he drove this Dodge Dakota pickup truck near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee early Monday morning. Police said he had a bayonet and a machete.

(Courtesy U.S. Capitol Police )

“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.”

The DNC building is not far from the national headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the president of which released a statement thanking the officers “who arrested this suspect and perhaps prevented another act of white supremacist violence in our nation’s capital.”

“We welcome the growing acknowledgement of the threat white supremacists and bigots of all types pose to our nation,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.

Capitol police are investigating. The agency said it was not clear if Craighead was planning to attend any demonstrations or if he was tied to any previous incidents in the area.

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