Woman in custody after ‘criminal’ incident near Capitol; police say ‘no nexus to terrorism’

(Photo Credit: Mark Meredith)


(ABC) — U.S. Capitol Police have apprehended a female driver after she nearly hit several officers and struck another vehicle near the U.S. Capitol, police said this morning.

At 9:22 a.m., Capitol police officers observed an “erratic and aggressive driver” in the vicinity of 100 Independence Ave, according to Eva Malecki, the communications director for the United States Capitol Police, who briefed reporters at Bartholdi Park.

As the officers tried to stop the vehicle, the driver pulled a U-turn and fled the scene, apparently striking another vehicle and nearly hitting officers. A brief pursuit ensued until the female suspect was stopped at Washington Ave and Independence Ave, which is located near the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Rayburn House Office Building, police said.

Capitol Police fired shots in an attempt to stop the driver. No one was hit, police said.

Capitol Police sent out an email alert about the incident, asking Hill staffers to stay clear of the area. Some of the House office buildings in the vicinity were temporarily placed on lockdown, but those lockdowns have been lifted.

The female suspect was apprehended at 3rd and Independence Ave, and has been taken into custody. No individuals were injured during the arrest, according to Malecki.

The incident appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism, Malecki added.

The FBI are assisting Capitol Police at the scene. There is currently no clear indication of a motive, or whether this was an intentional act, according to the FBI.

As of now, the Capitol building is open to the public.

The United States Capitol Police Criminal Investigations is handling the investigation, according to Malecki.