Police arrest ‘fake officer’ armed with knives on Capitol Hill

The US Secret Service (USSS) has arrested a man alleged to have impersonated an officer and who carried a stash of knives near the Congressional complex in Washington, DC.

The suspect, Max Eli Viner, 37, had previously been recorded by the Secret Service as being wanted for questioning.

Mr Viner was identified by US Capitol Police (USCP) and taken into custody on Monday evening around 6.20pm after the police were tipped off by USSS.

He’s now facing charges of Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon within the District of Columbia. He was arrested by the Secret Service after being caught by US Capitol Police, the agency said in a statement.

Capitol Police said that “an officer with the USCP’s Bicycle Response Team noticed a man, who was wanted for questioning by the U.S. Secret Service, near the corner of Third Street and Madison Drive, NW. Officers with the USSS Uniformed Division first spotted the suspect a few minutes earlier near Constitution Avenue and 15th Street”.

When police searched Mr Viner, they found “multiple knifes on him as well as a chain saw blade”.

Police found several knives on a suspect arrested near the US Capitol (US Capitol Police)
Police found several knives on a suspect arrested near the US Capitol (US Capitol Police)

“The United States Secret Service quickly arrived on scene, searched the suspect’s SUV, and found fake police equipment. USSS officers also discovered shell casings, a smoke grenade and a gas mask inside the suspect’s Ford Explorer,” police said.

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement that “this is another example of how our teams work closely with our partner law enforcement agencies to keep everyone safe. These partnerships are critical”.

“We thank the U.S. Secret Service for their detailed and timely information and we thank our officers who continue to show their dedication to our critical mission every day,” he added.