Campus Notebook: Pastor Arrested After Trying to Enter Capitol

Posted March 9, 2011 at 6:05pm

Two people were arrested Tuesday in separate incidents after they tried to force their way into buildings on the Capitol complex.

Rives Grogan Jr., a pastor and anti-abortion protester from the New Beginnings Church in Los Angeles, was arrested shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday after he tried to enter the North Senate Carriage Entrance to the Capitol, which is limited to Members and staff.

Grogan has been a regular presence at the Capitol over the past few weeks with his 10-year-old son, Rives Grogan III, calling for Congress to cut funding for abortion.

Officers “advised the defendant that the area was restricted and directed the defendant not to enter,” according to Capitol Police reports. “The Defendant refused to comply with officers’ directions and repeatedly crossed into the restricted area.”

Grogan was arraigned before the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Wednesday and charged with disorderly conduct, disobeying a police officer and contempt.

This is not the first time Grogan has been arrested at the Capitol complex. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Grogan pleaded guilty in 2007 to assaulting a police officer and causing a disturbance the year before during a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court, according to records from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Four more similar cases against Grogan are pending in the court. In February 2010, he was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey an officer, and three separate times during December 2009, he was charged for similar crimes. It is unclear whether these charges stem from incidents at the Capitol complex.

However, a YouTube video posted by the account “United Christian Resistance” shows Grogan being arrested by Capitol Police officers in front of the Capitol.

“Friend of mine was excersizing (sic) his 1st amendment right protesting against abortion in the Senate bill on December 22, 2009 and was arrested for it,” the description of the video reads.

The second suspect was arrested around noon Tuesday while trying to enter the Library of Congress.

Police say Remi Devienne entered the west main door entrance to the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building when he caused the magnetometer to sound.

Police officers “asked the defendant to step back and the defendant began to leave the building,” according to reports. “The defendant was ordered multiple times to stop and return to complete the screening but was not compliant to any commands.  While officers attempted to put handcuffs on the defendant, he physically resisted.”

No charges have yet been filed against Devienne.

Please send Campus Notebook tips here.