Police Detonate Pressure Cooker Found Near Capitol


Police Detonate Pressure Cooker Found Near Capitol

A single male is in custody Sunday evening after a bomb squad detonated a pressure cooker that was found in a car near the U.S. Capitol building.

U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider said that Israel Shimeles of Alexandria, Va. was charged with "operating after revocation", a seemingly minor motor vehicle offense for people caught driving while their license has been suspended.

The pressure cooker was spotted around 5 pm local time, when officers on patrol noticed a vehicle they deemed "suspicious" on a street that intersected the National Mall, west of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues.

In addition to the pressure cooker the vehicle also smelled like gasoline.

A bomb squad was called in and, after streets were closed off, the device was detonated at approximately 7:45 pm.

Security officials believe, after examining the car after the explosion, that it was in fact a food service item connected to a propane tank.

"[The owners'] story checked out," said one source. "But we wanted to neutralize it."

The Capitol is on high alert as thousands of people were arriving at the West Front of the Capitol for the annual Memorial Day concert.

The nationally televised concert featured appearances by singer Gloria Estefan, Gen. Colin Powell, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Demspey.

The scare had no impact on the show, which went off on time and ran smoothly.

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