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Man arrested by Capitol Police in October returns to street outside Supreme Court

President Biden, congressional leaders nearby at National Prayer Breakfast

Sunset light illuminates the U.S. Supreme Court building on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.
Sunset light illuminates the U.S. Supreme Court building on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Michigan man who initiated a standoff near the Capitol with police in October returned to the same spot on Thursday, the same morning President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and several members of Congress were delivering remarks nearby to the National Prayer Breakfast at the Capitol Visitor Center.

Dale Paul Melvin, 55, of Kimball, Mich., was arrested in October after refusing to leave his Chevy Tahoe, which he had illegally parked in front of the Supreme Court. Melvin’s return to the high court on Thursday spurred police to close First Street between Constitution Avenue NE and Independence Avenue SW, in addition to East Capitol Street between First and Second streets.

At around 9 a.m., Capitol Police agents saw Melvin in front of the Supreme Court, and the department closed off the area as a precaution.

After some discussion, Melvin agreed to leave the area and was not arrested, the department said. “Our officers and agents are focused on our critical mission,” Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a statement. “I applaud them for their keen observation and for not taking any chances when it comes to safety and security.”

Capitol Police agents noticed “concerning language” on a public social media account thought to be Melvin’s that related to his  presence at the Supreme Court, the Capitol Police said.

The Capitol Police first tweeted about Melvin’s parked vehicle at around 9:46 a.m. The roads were opened just after 10 a.m. Around 10:16 a.m. the department announced in a tweet that “police activity is clear” and “No arrest has been made,” adding that additional information is forthcoming.

Biden and Harris walked onstage at the prayer breakfast at 8:21 a.m., according to White House pool reports. Members of Congress present at the breakfast included Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Biden left the event at 9:25 a.m., according to the pool.

On Oct. 5, Melvin parked on First Street NE at approximately 9:30 a.m. Melvin appeared to be frustrated, refused to speak with officers and said, “The time for talking is done,” according to the department.

Officers cleared the area, crisis negotiators tried to speak with him and at around 11 a.m., a flash-bang stun grenade was used and Melvin was removed from his vehicle by the department’s Containment and Emergency Response Team.  Melvin was arrested for failure to obey and assault on a police officer, the department said.

Though the department’s Oct. 5 press release said Melvin was 55 and born “9/4/66,” the one sent out today said he was 58.

Melvin’s case from the October incident is pending with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to the department.

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