North Carolina Man Surrenders after Bomb Threat at Library of Congress

Aug. 19, 2021
A man in a black truck drove up on a sidewalk in front of the library in Washington, D.C., and told an officer he had a bomb, according to Capitol Police.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A man is in custody after surrendering to police, ending a tense five-hour standoff Thursday in front of the Library of Congress.

Floyd Roy Roseberry of Grover, North Carolina, was taken into police custody “without incident,” Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger told reporters at a news conference. Manger said police are still searching Roseberry’s truck to see if he actually had explosives in the vehicle.

At an earlier news conference, Manger said a man drove a black truck drove onto a sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress and told an officer he had a bomb.

“The officer said [there] appeared to be a detonator in the man’s hand,” Manger told reporters shortly after noon. Officers were “in communication with the suspect” and working to “peacefully resolve” the situation, he said.

The threat sparked the evacuation of staffers across the Capitol complex and triggered reminders of the chaos of Jan. 6, leaving onlookers shaken. A video on Facebook appeared to show a man inside a truck streaming the standoff in real time and referencing “a revolution.” Manger did not confirm the authenticity of that footage, but said “some information has been livestreamed.”

The situation began unfolding around 9:30 a.m., when Capitol Police announced officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle near the library, located at the corner of First Street Southeast and Independence Avenue. Law enforcement alerted staff in the Library of Congress’ Madison and Jefferson buildings to evacuate, along with House staff in the Cannon House Office Building.

The House sergeant-at-arms asked staff to avoid the area. “Due to the nature of the incident, this will likely be a prolonged law enforcement response,” the memo sent to House staff said.

The Hill would typically be filled with staff and lawmakers on a Thursday morning, but because both chambers are on an extended summer break, many were working off-campus. Still, some staffers could be seen early Thursday standing behind police lines in the surrounding areas waiting for more information.

“As you all know, the House and Senate are on recess. But there’s still people working throughout some of the buildings that were nearby this location,” said Manger, who was hired earlier this summer as the agency grapples with moving forward in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection that exposed major department failures.

Law enforcement officials dressed in tactical gear closed streets around the library and a sniper team was spotted on the East Lawn. Armored vehicles and the Capitol Police’s emergency response team vehicles were also on the scene. Metro trains bypassed the Capitol South station as police set up a perimeter.

D.C. Police asked people living in Capitol Hill between 2nd Street Southeast to 4th Street Southeast and A Street Southeast to Independence Avenue Southeast to evacuate, and said it would update residents when the area has been cleared.

The events brought up unpleasant memories for staffers after what has been a violent year on the Hill, including the insurrection attempt by a mob of pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol itself on Jan. 6. In April, a man rammed his vehicle into a police barricade near the complex, killing Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans.

“This year is certainly testing our resolve to continue working in an environment frequently under threats,” said one Capitol Hill staffer working from home Thursday, asking not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. “But we can’t let the bad guys win. They want us to quit, and we cannot.”

The stress keeps piling up, said one former Democratic House staffer. “Being a Hill staffer in the post-January 6 era means constant bomb threats, evacuations, and safety drills hiding under your desk,” tweeted Sawyer Hackett, who now works for People First Future PAC.

“Staffers and members deserve occupational therapy,” he added.

Bill Clark contributed to this report.

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