Heavily-armed man arrested at Trump hotel in Washington

A man was arrested after police found an assault rifle, a handgun and 90 rounds of ammunition in his car.VIDEO: REUTERS
Protesters outside the Trump Hotel in Washington on April 15, 2017.
Protesters outside the Trump Hotel in Washington on April 15, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A man armed with a semi-automatic rifle was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday (May 31) at Trump International Hotel in the US capital, averting what police called a “potential disaster.”

Alerted by authorities in Pennsylvania, officers of the Metropolitan Police Department detained a man from the state, identified as Bryan Moles, 43, at around 1 am at the hotel a short distance from the White House.

In his car, they recovered an AR-15 semi-automatic assault style rifle, a handgun and ammunition, police chief Peter Newsham told a news conference.

Moles was arrested for illegal possession of firearms.

“The officers and our federal partners... averted a potential disaster in the nation’s capital,” Newsham said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser described it as a “disturbing incident” that was “resolved quickly and peacefully.”

The police chief said his department and the Secret Service had received information that an adult male was travelling to the District of Columbia, possibly the Trump International Hotel, armed with weapons.

The US Secret Service – which is tasked with protecting Donald Trump and his family among others – issued a statement on the incident, saying that “at no time were any Secret Service protectees at risk,” and that the investigation was ongoing.

Trump has dined several times at his Washington hotel since taking office in January.

The Secret Service is also tasked with protecting the vice president and family, as well as former US heads of state and their relatives, visiting dignitaries and any other individual designated by the president.