Man allegedly impersonating police officer, carrying knives arrested by Capitol Police

On Tuesday, the Capitol Police arrested Max Eli Viner who was impersonating a police officer and carrying a stash of knives near the Capitol building, later finding in his SUV fake police equipment, shell casings, a smoke grenade, and a gas mask when it was searched.

Fox News reports that Viner, 37, was wanted for questioning by the Secret Service before Capitol Police apprehended him, according to a press release. It is unknown why the Secret Service wanted to question the suspect.

Capitol Police stated that “an officer with the USCP’s Bicycle Response Team noticed a man, who was wanted for questioning by the U.S. Secret Service, near the corner of Third Street and Madison Drive, NW. Officers with the USSS Uniformed Division first spotted the suspect a few minutes earlier near Constitution Avenue and 15th Street.”

Officers said they found multiple knives, a chainsaw blade, a smoke grenade, and a gas mask on the suspect when he was taken into custody, according to Politico.

He is now facing charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and possession of a prohibited weapon within the District of Columbia.

“This is another example of how our teams work closely with our partner law enforcement agencies to keep everyone safe. These partnerships are critical,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger noted concerning the troubling incident. “We thank the U.S. Secret Service for their detailed and timely information, and we thank our officers who continue to show their dedication to our critical mission every day.”

There are few details yet on what Viner intended to do with the weapons or what his motive was for being near the Hill.


Capitol Police arrested another person in January 2021 on charges of impersonating a police officer, just days before President Biden’s inauguration.

Another man was arrested near the Capitol in June 2022 and accused of possessing a fake “Department of the INTERPOL” police badge, a BB gun, high-capacity magazines, ammunition, and body armor.

In August of 2022, a man set his car on fire and crashed it into a barricade near the Capitol, according to The Sun. He was identified as Richard A York III and died following the incident.

York jumped out of the car after it caught on fire, armed with a weapon. He proceeded to fire shots into the air, catching the attention of the police, and then he shot himself. No one else was hurt in the altercation.

Wahington, D.C. is one of the most violent cities in the United States and seems to be a magnet for those who are politically unhinged.

According to NBC4 Washington, “Compared to this time in 2022, thefts from cars are up 30%, while thefts of cars are up 113%, numbers from D.C. police show. Robberies have increased by 57%, and overall property crime — which includes offenses such as burglary, theft, and arson — are up 42% over this time in 2022.”

“Overall, homicides fell slightly from 2021, which ended with 226 homicides, to 2022, which had 203. Serious assaults in D.C. were also down in 2022 from the previous year — though the victims of the violent crimes that did take place were juveniles more often than in years past,” the media outlet noted.

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