Man Charged in Eastern Market Suspicious Powder Incident

Camera footage showed individual sprinkling white substance around metro station

A suspicious powder substance at the Eastern Market metro station on Capitol Hill has prompted a huge emergency response, road closures and transit service changes. (Jason Dick, CQ Roll Call)
A suspicious powder substance at the Eastern Market metro station on Capitol Hill has prompted a huge emergency response, road closures and transit service changes. (Jason Dick, CQ Roll Call)
Jason Dick
Posted December 31, 2018 at 11:27am

Updated 2:43 p.m. | A suspicious powdery substance at the Eastern Market metro station on Capitol Hill prompted a huge emergency response Monday, including road closures and transit service changes.

Around 8:45 a.m. a man sprinkled an unknown white powder on the platform and tracks at Eastern Market, before exiting the station via train. The same man also sprinkled power in the elevator at the Metro Center station, where he exited the metro, according to WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel.

Police announced around 2 p.m. the arrest of Thomas S. Greene, 59, in connection with the incident, citing multiple open warrants. Metro police said it was consulting with the U.S. Attorney’s office to determine if any charges would be brought Monday. 

Metro’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines bypassed the Eastern Market station as the investigation continued, suspending train service between Federal Center SW station and Stadium-Armory. Metro Center station’s 12th and G Street entrance was also closed.

Metro Transit Police and DC Fire coordinated with a range of law enforcement agencies, including US Capitol Police and the FBI, Stessel said.

The FBI, multiple fire engines, ambulances, and two DC Fire Hazmat engines were on the scene Monday morning, along with three transit police vehicles, Metro SUVs, and a DC special operations environmental emergency response truck. 

The situation eventually cleared, according to a Metropolitan Police Department officer. While the perimeter gradually reopened Eastern Market Metro Station remained closed. FBI personnel remained on the scene.

DC Fire and EMS tests found the powder at Eastern Market was “NOT hazardous” while Metro Transit Police tweeted that cleanup is underway. Train service will continue to bypass Eastern Market while the cleanup continues.