Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 25, 2015

Posts in "Campus Crime"

May 13, 2015

Guns and Members, When Congress Protected Itself

Before there were Capitol Police to protect Congress (and leave their guns stashed in bathrooms), lawmakers tended to their own security — and their own weaponry.

And through much of the first half of the 19th century, whenever political tensions began to run high, guns were likely to appear on the hips of members. Full story

April 15, 2015

Gyrocopter Lands Amid Capitol Police Tumult

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After arresting the pilot of a small gyrocopter that touched down Wednesday on the West Front, many Capitol Police were left wondering, “What’s next?”

Hours before Florida man Doug Hughes landed his small aircraft, officers learned new details about a major shakeup underway among the department’s top brass. In an official memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, Chief Kim C. Dine notified the force he had chosen Deputy Chief Matt Verderosa to replace outgoing Assistant Chief Daniel Malloy, effective May 1.

Still uncertain is Dine’s own future with the department. The chief has submitted a resignation letter to the Capitol Police Board, following reports of conflict within the agency. Full story

April 11, 2015

MPD Will Lead Capitol Shooting Death Investigation

Spectators gather near Peace Circle on the West Front of the Capitol to view officials process the scene of an apparent suicide on the Capitol grounds. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Spectators gather near Peace Circle on the West Front of the Capitol to view officials process the scene of an apparent suicide on the Capitol grounds. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., will lead the investigation of the death of a man who shot himself on the West Front of the Capitol on Saturday, according to Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.

Standing behind yellow police tape and in front of about 30 reporters at a 5 p.m. press conference at Pennsylvania Ave. and First Street NW, Dine said a male subject with a backpack and rolling suitcase walked along a public area along the Lower West Terrace at approximately 1:05 p.m. and “engaged in a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

According to Dine and a follow-up advisory from the Capitol Police, the man who turned his weapon on himself was the only shooter, and no other injuries were reported. Law enforcement officers on the scene did not fire their weapons. The department’s bomb squad, with an assist from MPD, didn’t find any hazardous materials in the man’s belongings. Parts of the West Front will likely continue to be closed off until the investigation is completed, according to Capitol Police.

The subject’s identity is being withheld until his next of kin is informed. In addition to the MPD, Capitol Police will be working with the FBI, Secret Service and Park Police in the probe of the event. The subject had a sign with him, which Dine acknowledged was a “social justice” message. “I don’t have the actual language,” he said, but added he would relay as soon as it could be confirmed.

“That’s all we have now,” Dine said.

Related:

Shots Fired at Capitol

Capitol Police Chief Submits Resignation Letter (Video)

 Capitol Police Chief’s Leadership Questioned

Social Media Policy Stirs Up More Trouble Within Capitol Police Ranks

Capitol Police Chief’s Relationship With Union Hits New Low

Officer Morale a Hot Topic for Capitol Police at Appropriations Hearing

Driver in SOTU Police Chase Had No License, Police Say

Driver Arrested in SOTU Car Chase

Capitol Police Ordered Not to Arrest Driver in SOTU Car Chase

Immigration Protests in Capitol Offices Strain Police

Capitol Police Drug Bust Goes Bust

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Shots Fired at Capitol (Updated)

Spectators gather near Peace Circle on the West Front of the Capitol to view officials process the scene of an apparent suicide on the Capitol grounds. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Spectators gather near the West Front of the Capitol to view officials process the scene of an apparent suicide on the Capitol grounds. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:58 p.m. | Shots have been fired on the West Front of the Capitol in an apparent suicide, Capitol Police confirmed Saturday.

Full story

March 7, 2015

Congressional Staffer Arrested on 17 Counts of Child Sex Crimes

Matthew Pennell, right, a staffer for Huelskamp is facing criminal charges for sexual exploitation (Photo Courtesy Facebook)

Matthew Pennell, right, a staffer for Huelskamp, is facing criminal charges for sexual exploitation of a minor (Photo Courtesy Facebook)

A staffer for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a child, according to KWCH in Kansas.

Matthew P. Pennell was arrested Thursday on 17 counts of alleged child sex crimes. He is listed as a constituent services representative for Huelskamp, according to Legistorm. He started working for Huelskamp in June 2014, according to his Facebook profile. Full story

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 12:08 p.m.
Campus Crime

February 11, 2015

Phone Scammers Target Congressional Offices

Congressional offices have been warned of fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional offices have been warned about fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Security officials are warning Capitol Hill employees to be alert for telephone scams targeting congressional offices, a reminder that Internet-calling technology makes phone calls as big a threat to Congress as cyberattacks.

On Monday, the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms sent out a notice about illegal phone phishing incidents, involving callers trying to elicit sensitive information about the Senate network, including IP addresses, files present on Senate computers and how to obtain remote access. Full story

February 4, 2015

Capitol Police Drug Bust Goes Bust

Charges may be refiled agains suspect arrested in a Dec. 23  drug bust. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Charges may be refiled against a suspect arrested in a Dec. 23 drug bust. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A New York man arrested on Dec. 23 in one of the biggest drug busts in recent Capitol Police history had his case dismissed in January, when the government failed to produce a witness.

Police found 60 blue oxycodone pills, along with drug paraphernalia and cash, during a search-and-arrest initiated two days before Christmas — in broad daylight on an empty Capitol campus — when the man drove up to the South Barricade in a gray Honda Civic. Dennis A. Silva, 25, was charged with possession with intent to distribute what appeared to be prescription narcotics, a felony punishable with up to 30 years in prison. Full story

November 20, 2014

Republican National Committee Headquarters Hit With Blue Spray Paint

Scalise outside the RNC's headquarters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise outside the RNC’s headquarters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A vandal struck the Republican National Committee headquarters on Veterans Day, according to Capitol Police.

Around 7 a.m. on Nov. 11, a security guard spotted a young man spray painting a large blue “V” on the front door of 310 First St. SE, according to the police report. The graffiti was thwarted by the guard, who handcuffed the perpetrator and called Capitol Police.

Wilbert Henry Norton, 24, of Floyd, Va., was arrested and charged with destruction of property under $1,000, a misdemeanor. As a condition of his release, he was ordered to stay away from Capitol grounds, including all congressional office buildings.

The RNC paint job appears to be an isolated incident, though other buildings in the area have been targeted in recent months, according to sources familiar with the location.

Asked if there’s been an increase in vandalism around the Capitol grounds, the department provided statistics. To date in 2014, six incidents of graffiti have been reported to Capitol Police. That’s an uptick from five in 2013, but a decrease from 2012, when 10 graffiti incidents were reported on Capitol grounds. Some members faced vandalism in their districts that year, a backlash to passage of the health care overhaul.

In an email, Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department, said Capitol Police “strategically deploy our assets throughout the Capitol Campus as part of our primary law enforcement mission to protect the Congress, the Capitol Complex, and the legislative process.”

Capitol Police work with the Architect of the Capitol to remove markings whenever graffiti is reported.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report. 

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October 21, 2014

Second Capitol Hill Gun Case Ends With Plea Deal

Prestage was arrested for allegedly carrying a firearm into the Cannon House Office Building. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Prestage was sentenced to probation and fines for carrying a loaded firearm into the Cannon House Office Building. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About three months after he was arrested at a security checkpoint in the Cannon House Office Building, Ronald Prestage pleaded guilty to two District of Columbia gun charges.

The South Carolina pork executive’s defense attorney appeared in a downtown D.C. courthouse on Tuesday morning to file guilty pleas to charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Prestage initially faced charges of carrying a pistol outside a home or business — a felony that carries up to five years in prison and $5,000 fine. Under the terms of a plea agreement with U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr., offered after a court ruling dismantled D.C. gun laws, penalties were much lighter.

D. C. Superior Court Associate Judge John McCabe sentenced Prestage to 30 days in jail, but suspended the sentence, meaning he would not be locked up. Prestage has been ordered to serve six months unsupervised probation, which means he is not required to report to a probation officer. McCabe ordered Prestage to pay $100 in court costs by the end of the year and comply with gun offender registration requirements, according to court documents.

Capitol Police found a loaded semi-automatic pistol and magazine in Prestage’s briefcase on July 23 — only a few days after cops arrested Capitol Hill aide Ryan Shucard after finding a 9mm handgun in his bag. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., reinstated Shucard as his press secretary in late September following a similar plea agreement.

RELATED:

Capitol Hill Staffer Arrested on Gun Charge Returns to Work

Pork Executive Was Carrying ‘Fully Functional’ Pistol, Police Say

U.S. Attorney Offers Plea Deals in Capitol Hill Gun Cases

Capitol Police Stop Another Gun From Entering Cannon Building (Updated)

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September 11, 2014

Homeless Man Arrested for Wreaking Havoc on Lower Senate Park

Watering the Lawn

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police arrested a homeless man Monday afternoon in Lower Senate Park who seemed bent on destroying the serene scenery.

After witnessing the man kicking over trash cans and pulling sprinkler heads out of the ground, a bystander called police.

When officers arrived, the witness identified Micah Chinedu Irika, 39, as the vandal. Irika was placed under arrest at 2:37 p.m., according to a police report. He faces felony charges for destroying up to $1,000 in Architect of the Capitol property.

According to D.C. Superior Court documents, Irika also faces charges in a separate case for an alleged assault on a police officer and two counts of simple assault.

 

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