Man Arrested for Wearing Congressional Pin

Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:34am

Capitol Police arrested a man with ties to the local journalism community early Wednesday morning for possession of a Congressional lapel pin and falsely reporting an assault.

Walter Nelson Lewis Jr. approached police to report an assault while wearing an official Congressional lapel pin. He also said he took down the license plate number of the vehicle belonging to those who attacked him, according to police reports.

“I was wearing a pin that was given to me by a late relative, and I regret any misunderstanding,” he said in an interview, though he declined to say on the record who the relative was.

It is a crime punishable by a fine or up to six months in jail to possess any official or imitation badge, identification card or other insignia of any U.S. department or agency without official authorization.

According to police reports, the license plate number that Lewis gave had no listing.

“The defendant initially stated that he had been assaulted at 217 Maryland Avenue, N.E., but then stated that the assault took place in front of the Capitol Lounge,” at 231 Pennsylvania Ave S.E., according to police reports. “The Defendant then stated that he was never assaulted.”

When reached by phone, Lewis — who claims on his Facebook profile that he used to work for Fox News and “The Laura Ingraham Show” and lists his current occupation as a features writer for Rolling Stone — confirmed his arrest, but he gave another version of the events.

He said that the false reporting charge has been dropped and that he was assaulted by five men outside of a bar.