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An Armed Man Breaches the U.S. Capitol

Intruder with handgun is held after crashing a stolen SUV and leading police on a foot chase.

September 19, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — An armed man ran through the U.S. Capitol after crashing his vehicle on the Capitol grounds Monday in the worst breach of security since a gunman killed two police officers in 1998.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Christopher McGaffin identified the intruder as Carlos Greene, 20, of Silver Spring, Md. He said Greene, tackled after a foot chase through the Capitol, was armed with a loaded handgun and had crack cocaine in his possession.

Greene appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance and "exhibited signs of seizure," McGaffin said. He was taken to Greater Southeast Community Hospital.

Police planned to charge Greene with federal felony possession of a handgun and assault of a police officer, McGaffin said.

"This was unacceptable by my expectations for Capitol Police," McGaffin said. "It was an unfortunate breach of our security."

He said Greene, driving an SUV stolen earlier in the day, slammed into a police vehicle blocking an entrance to a major construction site on the Capitol's east side, across from the Supreme Court.

Greene drove into the site, stopping at a skylight for the new Capitol Visitors Center, which opens next year, McGaffin said, adding that Greene then bolted up the Capitol steps, entering the building through a third-floor construction door. He then made his way to the basement on the opposite side of the building before being subdued by police outside an office that distributes flags.

McGaffin said there was no information that Greene was brandishing his weapon. He praised Capitol Police for their actions in capturing the intruder, but said there would be a review of security measures and protocols.

Greene entered at "an access point that must be available to construction vehicles," he said, and "there is a risk. That's why we have concentric rings of security."

The incident occurred shortly before 8 a.m., and the Capitol was locked down for about an hour before reopening for staff and tourists. The House was not in session Monday and the Senate didn't convene until Monday afternoon.

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