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Truck convoy leader ‘Santa’ arrested on National Mall

Washington, D.C., police arrested a leader of a truck convoy that has protested on roadways in and near the nation’s capital.

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested David Riddell, 57, on Wednesday morning after the Maryland State Police issued an arrest warrant that accused him of blocking traffic on the Fourth of July, the state police said in a statement.

Riddell, known by many in the convoy as “Santa,” was charged with disturbing the peace and hindering passage, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

Police arrested Riddell after protesters on Wednesday gathered on Madison Avenue north of the National Mall, according to photojournalist Kyle Anderson, who documented the arrest.

Two days earlier, Maryland state troopers responded to a report of several truckers stopping traffic in Gaithersburg — located just under 20 miles from D.C. — on southbound I-270.

“The Maryland State Police took appropriate action to prioritize opening the highway to maintain the free flow of traffic and to address any violations of the law,” state police said in their statement.

The Hill has reached out to the MPD for comment.

The so-called People’s Convoy of truckers had originally drawn inspiration from a similar movement in Canada, where protesters shut down parts of Ottawa for days as they railed against COVID-19 restrictions.

The U.S. group looped around Washington-area highways for days in March before heading to California. In May, the group declared victory and said it was disbanding.

But an offshoot group dubbed “The 1776 Restoration Movement,” which Riddell led, continued protesting, WTOP reported.

Tags 1776 Restoration Movement 1776 restoration movement David Riddell Maryland State Police Metropolitan Police Department peoples convoy truck convoy trucker convoy

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