‘All Clear’ Following Capitol Police Investigation of Suspicious Vehicle

Workers heading home for the day routed away from blocked streets

An officer in a bomb suit sifts through luggage on Louisiana Ave. near the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Capitol Police and other law enforcement were investigating an incident in which a suspect abandoned a suspicious vehicle on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roads around the Senate side of Capitol Hill and Union Station have been re-opened following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle Wednesday that included a police robot and a bomb suit. Capitol Police announced “all clear” nearly two and a half hours after the investigation began.

The road closures and guidance for staff to avoid the area came a little before 5 p.m. Senate staff and visitors were streaming out of office buildings towards Union Station and their parked cars before being detoured around the situation.

Capitol Police responded to a request for assistance from a “commercial driver” around 3:45 p.m. after the passenger left the vehicle without his luggage, according to USCP spokesperson Eva Malekci. Capitol Police along with Amtrak Police located the passenger in Union Station after the investigation of the luggage began.

The car was “full of stuff,” said a Capitol Police officer who did not specify if the contents of the car were dangerous or illegal.

A member of law enforcement walked the Lower Senate Park between Delaware Ave and Louisiana Ave dressed in a full body bomb protection suit before moving to inspect the abandoned vehicle area. The officer in the suit inspected and removed items from luggage sitting next to the abandoned vehicle.

In addition to Capitol Police, fire personnel in full gear appeared on the scene alongside EMTs. A Capitol Police robot and its Hazardous Materials Response Team were also present.

Columbus Circle outside of Union Station was closed to automotive traffic.

A man received medical treatment at the intersection of Columbus Circle and Delaware, though it was unclear if the attention he received was related to the incident.

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