Cleveland Co. man taken into custody after incident involving possible explosives in truck near U.S. Capitol
A man sitting in a black pickup truck parked on the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress told police he had a bomb Thursday, triggering a standoff in the heart of the nation’s capital.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTV/AP) - Capitol Police say a man from Grover, North Carolina who is under investigation for having explosives in a truck near the United States Capitol Complex, has been taken into custody without incident.
Sheriff Alan Norman said his office was investigating someone from Cleveland County currently in Washington, D.C.
According to CBS News, two law enforcement sources identified the suspect in the suspicious vehicle as Floyd Ray Roseberry from Grover, North Carolina, born in 1971.
Roseberry is accused of parking a truck in front of the Library of Congress.
The moments he surrendered to authorities were caught on camera. He claimed in a Facebook Live video directed at President Biden that he had explosives inside his truck.
“If you don’t think there is real gunpowder in here, bossman, there is gunpowder in there,” Roseberry could be heard in the video. “And this is some of the strongest sh** you can get.”
Roseberry was in a black pickup truck with no license plates and is talking to investigators as he sat in the vehicle stopped near the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
WBTV’s news helicopter Sky 3 had aerials over the man’s home in Grover. Several law enforcement agents are on the scene.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that a man sitting in a black pickup truck parked on the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress told police he had a bomb Thursday, triggering a standoff in the heart of the nation’s capital.
The man surrendered to law enforcement, ending an hourslong standoff on Thursday. The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, of North Carolina, crawled out of the vehicle and was being taken into custody shortly before 2:30 p.m.
He had pulled up outside the library earlier in the day and told police he had a bomb in his truck. An officer saw what appeared to be a detonator in the man’s hand.
The man had been negotiating with police during a standoff that lasted around five hours.
Officials evacuated a number of buildings around the Capitol and sent snipers to the area after officers saw a man holding what looked like a detonator inside the pickup, which had no license plates. Congress is in recess this week, but staffers were seen calmly walking out of the area at the direction of authorities.
Police negotiators were communicating with him as he wrote notes and showed them to authorities from inside the truck, according to three people who were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Authorities were trying to determine whether it was an operable bomb, the officials said. Police gave no immediate details on his motive or any demands.
Capitol police said a bomb was not found in the car, but possible bomb-making materials were collected, including a propane gas container.
“My negotiators are hard at work trying to have a peaceful resolution to this incident,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said. “We’re trying to get as much information as we can to find a way to peacefully resolve this.”
While police continued negotiations, video surfaced of Roseberry on Facebook Live inside the truck, which was stuffed with coins and boxes. He was threatening explosions, making anti-government threats and talking about what he believes are the ills of the country, including the U.S. position on Afghanistan, health care and the military.
He said Democrats needed to step down, then also said he loved the president, Democrat Joe Biden. Facebook removed the videos a few hours after they were apparently filmed. Roseberry did not appear to have a specific demand for law enforcement other than to speak with Biden.
“This is real. I’m not going home Joe Biden,” Roseberry said in the video. “It’s your time to make the move. I told you you was going to have this question asked one day. Do you want to pull that trigger and kill this man from the South? You want to pull the trigger and clear out two blocks? It’s real Joe Biden. Don’t break these windows with a bullet, then it’s gone. I don’t want to do it. I want everyone out of the area in a two-block radius.”
Roseberry’s ex-wife, Crystal Roseberry, said she had seen images of the man in the standoff at the Capitol and confirmed to The Associated Press that it was her ex-husband. She said had never known him to have explosives, but that he was an avid collector of firearms.
The nation’s capital has been tense since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Fencing that had been installed around the Capitol grounds had been up for months but was taken down this summer. A day before thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, pipe bombs were left at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in Washington. No one has been arrested yet for placing the bombs.
The RNC, not far away from where the truck was parked Thursday, was also evacuated over the threat. Officials are also jittery over a planned rally in September in D.C.
The episode began about 9:15 a.m. when the truck drove up the sidewalk outside the library, police said. The driver told the responding officer that he had a bomb, and was holding what the officer believed to be a detonator. The truck had no license plates.
Hours into the standoff, the area remained blocked off by police cars and barricades, and multiple fire trucks and ambulances were staged nearby. Also responding were the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Capitol police said Rosebery has suffered some losses recently, including his mother dying. Family members also told officers he had some other issues.
WBTV spoke to multiple along Blacksburg Road in Cleveland County Thursday evening. A portion of the road was blocked because of the investigation into a home connected to Roseberry.
Vicki Sewell, who was visiting her mother-in-law on Blacksburg Road, said she was surprised to hear about the investigation.
“(I was) really shocked today to find out that this guy was just down the road from my mother-in-law so yeah it’s been a pretty overwhelming day,” said Sewell.
She said she was comforted by the fact that investigators said there was no threat to anyone in Cleveland County.
“Today was a little overwhelming and there was some uncertainty, but I think we can sleep tonight knowing everything’s okay,” said Sewell.
Celeste Ruppe, who works in a convenience store in Grover, said she had met Roseberry, and was very surprised to hear that hear he was in trouble with the law.
“Coming from a little small town like Grover, you wouldn’t think somebody like that would have the nerve to even do that,” said Ruppe.
She said she had never suspected Roseberry would be involved in anything similar to what happened Thursday. She said Roseberry was ‘nice’ and ‘friendly’ when she met him.
Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston, Tom Foreman Jr. in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Zeke Miller, Nathan Ellgren, Ashraf Khalil, Alex Brandon and Michael Biesecker in Washington contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.