Man Who Claimed to Have Bomb Near U.S. Capitol Surrenders After Standoff
- By Matt Jones
- Aug 20, 2021
A man who threatened to bomb the U.S. Capitol area in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 19, surrendered to police after about a five-hour standoff. The man live-streamed himself on Facebook from inside his truck during the process, saying, “I’m ready to die for the cause.”
Capitol police evacuated the area at about 9:15 a.m. Thursday after receiving reports of a suspicious device in a truck parked near the Library of Congress. The truck drove up the sidewalk, and the driver told the responding officer that he had a bomb and was holding what the officer thought was a detonator.
Capitol police followed up with a tweet at about 10:30 a.m. saying that they were conducting an active bomb threat investigation in the area. Nearby government buildings were evacuated.
The suspect was identified as 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry from Grover, N.C. “We’re living in a free country, Joe,” Roseberry said during the livestream, which Facebook has since removed. “Choice is yours: If you wanna shoot me and take the chance of blowing up two-and-a-half city blocks, ‘cause that toolbox’s full of ammonium nitrate, it’s full.” In another part of the footage, he held what looked to be a black propane tank in his lap.
According to the Associated Press, authorities spent hours negotiating with Roseberry, who communicated via handwritten signs held up to his driver’s-side window. Roseberry surrendered to law enforcement at about 2:20 p.m. local time, after about a five-hour standoff, and was apprehended immediately. Police searched the vehicle and found potential bomb-making materials, but no bomb.
Police spent Thursday evening and Friday delving into Roseberry’s background. Authorities have not discussed any potential motives and have not yet announced any charges. Roseberry’s livestream was filled with what the AP called “a litany of antigovernment grievances.” He indicated hostility toward President Joe Biden and warned of a forthcoming “revolution.” Another video since removed from Facebook appears to show Roseberry at a Washington, D.C., rally from Nov. 14. Supporters of former President Donald Trump had gathered at the rally to wave American flags and Trump flags, as well as to chant “stop the steal.”
The incident is the third in three weeks in which federal and military law enforcement officials have had to respond to attacks or threats in the Washington, D.C., area.