Memorial Day 2015: Man's Pressure Cooker Alarms Capitol Police in DC

Parked vehicle with suspicious items inside alarms Capitol Police patrol.

ByJohn Parkinson
May 25, 2015, 9:46 AM

— -- As tourists packed the National Mall during a busy Memorial Day weekend, a parked vehicle with several suspicious items inside alarmed a Capitol Police patrol unit enough to dispatch a bomb squad and shutdown part of downtown Washington for several hours, authorities said.

Officers on routine patrol late Sunday afternoon observed a parked and unoccupied vehicle that it described as “suspicious in nature," just blocks from the Capitol where a crowd was gathering for the National Memorial Day Concert.

U.S. Capitol Police say its Hazardous Devices Section was called to investigate and ultimately disrupted the suspicious vehicle, triggering a loud band that echoed throughout the Mall.

Photos afterwards revealed a pressure cooker sitting in the grass and a bomb tech removing a propane tank from the vehicle. Officials said there was “an odor of gasoline” that was detected, which further alarmed officers.

U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider confirmed that there was a pressure cooker located inside the vehicle, but it was ultimately deemed not to be hazardous.

“The USCP bomb squad safely disrupted the items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker, at about 7:45 p.m., and performed a thorough hand search,” Schneider wrote in a news release Sunday evening. “At about 8:20 p.m., the USCP concluded its investigation of the suspicious vehicle with negative results and nothing hazardous found.”

The owner of the vehicle was located and identified as Israel Shimeles of Alexandria, Virginia. Shimeles was arrested and charged with Operating After Revocation, according to Schneider.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events