The Washington Post

Judge orders man detained after arrest outside DNC office

44-year-old from Calif. appears in court to face weapons charges

- BY PETER HERMANN peter.hermann@washpost.com

A D. C. Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered a California man detained after police said they arrested him outside the Democratic National Committee headquarte­rs near Capitol Hill with a machete and a bayonet in his truck.

Donald Craighead, 44, made no comments during a brief hearing, at which he appeared in person to face a charge of carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or business.

The judge denied requests from his attorney to dismiss the charge for lack of probable cause and to release Craighead pending his next court hearing, on Sept. 28.

U. S. Capitol Police arrested Craighead shortly after midnight on Monday after seeing a Dodge Dakota truck without license plates but with a swastika and “other white supremacis­t symbols painted on it” in the 500 block of South Capitol Street SW.

An arrest affidavit filed in court says that Craighead told officers he was “on patrol” and that they spotted a single-edged 15-inch-long bayonet on the passenger seat and a 21-inch-long machete on the dashboard, in a black sheath.

Craighead’s 65- year- old father, Donald W. Craighead, said Monday that his son has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophre­nia and has a fixation with the CIA and the FBI.

As far as he knows, the father said, his son has never hurt or threatened to hurt anyone. In his interview with police, the younger Craighead said he did not associate with any extremist groups and denied the weapons were for “offensive purposes,” according to the affidavit.

But police said that law enforcemen­t had issued an “armed and dangerous caution” on Craighead on a national database and that when he was arrested, he was wearing a shirt “which is associated with the boogaloo movement,” a loosely formed group of people who follow a violent anti- government ideology.

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