WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Atlanta man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after being spotted with a gun at a park near the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger says Ahmir Lavon Merrell, 21, was walking down the sidewalk across the street from Union Station with a gun. He was ordered to drop the gun, but did not, so officers Tased him.
Chief Manger says Merrell also left a bag on the park bench. Bomb technicians are searching the bag, but they say they have not found anything suspicious in the bag.
Investigators say Merrell’s driver’s license says he is from Atlanta. He is also a convicted sex offender in the state of Georgia, according to U.S. Capitol police.
Court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News show that Merrell was first arrested in March 2019 in Fulton County on sex crime charges, including child molestation.
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A plea deal dropped his charge to cruelty to children and required him to register as a sex offender until his 21st birthday, which was January of this year.
According to court documents, Merrell’s mother advocated for him to stay in jail until he was 25, saying he was the only one of her children that gave her any trouble.
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Police say it took about three minutes from the time officers were made aware of a man in the park to the time Merrell was taken into custody.
Merrell did not make any statements to the police about why he was there.
“At this time we have no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat,” police said in a statement.
Merrell was wanted for probation violation in Georgia.
U.S. Capitol police say he is being charged with felon in possession of a firearm, unregistered ammunition, unregistered firearm, fugitive from justice and unlawful activities.
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