Secret Service officers arrested a man near the Capitol building Tuesday for allegedly impersonating a police officer and carrying a stash of knives, according to the U.S. Capitol Police.
The suspect, 37-year-old Max Eli Viner, had been wanted for questioning by Secret Service, according to the press release. U.S. Capitol police spotted Viner twice Tuesday before identifying him and reported the incident to Secret Service, who promptly searched his SUV and made the arrest.
When searching Viner’s person, federal authorities allegedly found multiple knives and a chainsaw blade, according to the statement. Officers then searched Viner’s car, where they found shell casings, fake police equipment, a gas mask and a smoke grenade inside.
Viner is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and possession of a prohibited weapon.
NEW: US Capitol Police says federal law enforcement arrested a police impersonator near US Capitol last night. They say the 37-year-old man was found with stash of knifes on him as well as a chainsaw blade. And with fake police equipment, smoke grenade and gas mask— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 31, 2023
“This is another example of how our teams work closely with our partner law enforcement agencies to keep everyone safe. These partnerships are critical,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said, according to the press release. “We thank the U.S. Secret Service for their detailed and timely information, and we thank our officers who continue to show their dedication to our critical mission every day.”
In the last year, other possible breaches of security at the Capitol building have been prevented, such as a June incident involving a Michigan suspect found with a fake badge and high-capacity magazines. In August, a man crashed into a barricade near the building before shooting himself.
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