Capitol Police arrest man for throwing rocks at Senate office building

Capitol Police arrest man for throwing rocks at Senate office building
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Capitol Police said Wednesday they arrested a man after he was found throwing rocks at the Russell Senate Office Building.

The department said in a statement that the man, identified as 37-year-old John Liebsch, was "non-compliant and very combative" when multiple officers confronted him at about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday night.

Liebsch was charged with felony destruction of property, felony threats, failure to obey, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fugitive from justice. Capitol Police added that Liebsch previously had a warrant for felony destruction of property at Columbus Circle near Union Station last November.

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The arrest marks the latest security incident on Capitol Hill in a tumultuous year for the police force that began with the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Just over a week after Capitol security officials removed the outer perimeter fence erected in the aftermath of the pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol, a man rammed his car into a Senate-side security barricade and hit two police officers on April 2.

One of the officers, Ken Shaver, was hospitalized, while the other, William "Billy" Evans, died. Evans subsequently laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda for dying in the line of duty, the second Capitol Police officer to receive the distinction this year. Another officer, Brian Sicknick, died after engaging with the mob on Jan. 6.

The outer perimeter fence that was removed in late March had stretched blocks from the Capitol and encompassed surrounding streets and office buildings like the one Liebsch allegedly threw rocks at. But a layer of inner fencing still surrounds the main Capitol building amid ongoing security repairs to fortify the exterior.

The Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man late at night on April 25 for scaling the remaining fence. The suspect, 22-year-old Marc Beauchamp, was "immediately stopped by several officers," according to the Capitol Police.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman testified before a Senate panel in late April that threats against members of Congress have increased nearly 65 percent in the first four months of this year compared with the same period in 2020.