Man Flies Gyrocopter to West Front of Capitol (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:46pm

Updated 3:22 p.m. | A man has been arrested after flying a small gyrocopter onto the West Front of the Capitol, prompting Capitol Police to briefly lock down the building.  

The Tampa Bay Times reported a 61-year-old mailman named Doug Hughes planned to fly to the Capitol to deliver a message on campaign finance  and corruption and identified him as the person arrested.  

Witnesses described a man flying on a gyrocopter — a contraption looking like a bike with helicopter wings. They told CQ Roll Call the copter was very loud and flew toward the Capitol from the direction of the National Mall.  

View of the gyrocopter from the Capitol basement. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)
View of the gyrocopter from the Capitol basement. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Police said it took one person into custody and is continuing to investigate. Police temporarily closed streets in the immediate area and the bomb squad used a robot to investigate the gyrocopter, but nothing hazardous was found.  

Lt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, said authorities were moving the gyrocopter to “a secure location.”  

Joseph P. Clancy, the director of the U.S. Secret Service, was also headed to the Capitol complex as part of the investigation, according to police sources.  

Hannah Hess, Niels Lesniewski, Bridget Bowman, Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

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