News & Politics

Man With Swastikas on Truck Arrested Near DNC Headquarters

The California resident was carrying illegal knives and claimed to be "on patrol," police say.

Photographs via US Capitol Police.

A California man was arrested early Monday near Democratic National Committee headquarters, the US Capitol Police say.

Donald Craighead, 44, of Oceanside, California, was spotted by a USCP officer outside the DNC building. In place of a license plate, his truck had an image of an American flag. After he was pulled over, Craighead told a Capitol Police Special Operation Division officer that he was “on patrol” and “began talking about white supremacist ideology and other rhetoric pertaining to white supremacy,” the force says.

The police found a bayonet and a machete in Craighead’s vehicle and arrested him for possessing prohibited weapons. The truck had a swastika painted on the driver side-view mirror and another surrounding a quarter glued to a pillar inside. Photos show the truck had antlers mounted on the grille, what appears to be the word “CONFEDERATE” scribbled on the dashboard, and what is possibly an imperfect rendering of the “Othala Rune,” a white supremacist symbol, on the rear gate. A similar mark is repeated elsewhere in the cabin.

The incident comes less than a month after a North Carolina man caused an hourslong standoff with police that shut down wide areas of Capitol Hill before he was arrested. The man claimed to have a bomb and ranted on Facebook about President Biden during the standoff.

In a statement, DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale said the organization was “thankful” for the Capitol Police’s work. Cornale continued: “DNC employees are real human beings who fight tirelessly for a better America, and their safety, security, and well-being – physical, mental and emotional – are the top priorities of DNC leadership. This suspect’s apparent views are despicable, and violence and white supremacy have no place in our country.”

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.