Airspace breach shuts Capi­tol

Pi­lot lands at Na­tional; evac­u­a­tion on hol­i­day af­fects rel­a­tively few

The Washington Post Sunday - - METRO - BY NIA-MALIKA HEN­DER­SON hen­der­sonn@wash­post.com

The U.S. Capi­tol com­plex was evac­u­ated Satur­day af­ter­noon when an air­craft en­tered re­stricted space, prompt­ing a 30-minute shut­down of the Se­nate and House build­ings.

Capi­tolPo­lice­con­tact­edthep­i­lot of the er­rant air­craft, which landed safely at Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port. Capi­tol Po­lice and the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

Much of the Capi­tol com­plex is empty be­cause law­mak­ers and staffers are away for the hol­i­days. The Capi­tol Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where tourists flock, was closed on New Year’s Day. Congress re­con­venes onWed­nes­day.

The evac­u­a­tion fol­lows a brief shut­down Dec. 16. That in­ci­dent in­volved a sus­pect who ap­proached a Capi­tol Po­lice of­fi­cer, acted ag­gres­sively and sug­gested that he had a weapon.

Po­lice sub­dued the sus­pect, took him into cus­tody and charged him with as­sault on a po­lice of­fi­cer. No weapon was re­cov­eredandtheshut­downex­tended only a fewmin­utes.

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