U.S. Capitol Police arrested a homeless man armed with a butcher's knife and machete near Capitol building

 December 29, 2023

There was a brief but worrisome incident outside the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday that required a response by law enforcement to a homeless man who was acting suspiciously and was later found to be armed.

A man identified as Jose Leonardo Marquez, 23, who has no fixed address, was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police and now faces two weapons charges, according to local CBS affiliate WUSA.

Marquez, who was taken into custody without trouble, was found to have a brick, a large knife, and a machete in his possession, and while an investigation remains ongoing and it is unclear what he was doing near the Capitol, officers do not suspect him of targeting or posing a specific threat to any members of Congress.

Arrested man armed with knife and machete

In a Wednesday press release, U.S. Capitol Police revealed that Marquez had been arrested Tuesday afternoon and has been charged with two counts: Carrying a Dangerous Weapon and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.

USCP officers approached the man shortly after 4 pm when he was observed pacing back and forth and then sitting on a ledge near the East Front of the Capitol building.

After officers spoke with Marquez it was noticed that he had a brick in his pocket, which he removed and tossed aside when asked to do so, and then also pulled out a large knife and placed it on the ledge next to him.

Officers then called for backup and secured the knife, at which point the handle of a machete was spotted under the man's clothing, which resulted in guns being drawn and Marquez being placed under arrest after that weapon was also secured by the officers.

USCP Chief Tom Manger said in a statement, "This is another example of the vigilance and strong intuition of our USCP officers. I am proud of our cops who routinely work to keep everyone around the U.S. Capitol safe."

Photo of seized weapons reveals potential danger

Neither the USCP press release of the WUSA report gave any indication of what sort of "knife" was possessed by Marquez, and one might assume it was nothing more than a not particularly dangerous pocket knife, or something similar.

However, local Fox affiliate WTTG appears to have obtained a photo taken by police of the pair of edged weapons taken from the man which shows that the otherwise nondescript "knife" was actually a large butcher's knife with a slightly serrated blade.

As noted, the man's intentions for being near the Capitol building with a butcher's knife and a machete are not yet known, but thankfully neither weapon was used by Marquez against the arresting officers, any politicians or staffers at the Capitol building, or any random passersby or tourists.

Man with a gun arrested near Capitol building last month

The New York Post reported that this incident marks the second time in just two months that USCP officers have arrested somebody in the vicinity of the Capitol building while in possession of a deadly weapon.

It was on Nov. 7 that officers arrested a man from Georgia named Ahmir Merrell who was caught prowling around outside the Senate building on Capitol grounds while in possession of a loaded gun.

Had Marquez aimed to use his weapons violently against members of Congress, he would have had slim pickings in terms of available targets, as the Post noted that neither chamber is in session right now and the overwhelming majority of members and staffers are home for the holiday break until the Senate and House reconvene on Jan. 8 and 9, respectively, to start the new year.

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts