Capitol Lockdown Lifted

Posted December 16, 2010 at 10:54am

Updated: 5:25 p.m.

The Capitol was briefly locked down Thursday as a man allegedly carrying a weapon was arrested outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building, according to sources inside the Capitol and one who witnessed the arrest.

The House continued to vote during the lockdown.

Paul Agole Ujwok, 41, of Virginia, was transported to Capitol Police headquarters and was charged with assault on a police officer, according to a department spokeswoman.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said officers responded to reports that he had a gun. When they approached him, he “lunged toward several police officers, continuing to make furtive movements as though he had a weapon under his coat,” she said in a statement.

“Officers sought cover for protection, and began giving verbal commands to the suspect who refused to comply,” she added. “A plainclothes USCP officer approached the suspect from behind and took the suspect to the ground.” 

The Capitol complex was given the all-clear a short time after.

Reporters and staff were told over the loudspeaker around 11:30 a.m. that they were not to leave their offices.

The Capitol Police sent an e-mail alert to Senate staff at 11:36 a.m. informing them of police activity at First Street Northeast and Constitution Avenue Northeast.

“The U.S. Capitol Campus was in lock down status due to police activity at First Street and Constitution Avenue, NE Barricade,” the alert read. “The barricade at this location will be closed until further notice.”