Man pleads not guilty in incident outside U.S. Capitol building

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 01, 2015 5:27 PM

By John Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania man pleaded not guilty Saturday to charges that he ignored police and slammed his car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol building Friday, according to court documents, in the latest security alert at the Washington landmark.

Antonio Pierorazio, 51, of Reading, drove his red Nissan Ultima into a concrete barricade around 9 a.m. Friday morning, causing authorities to temporarily close down nearby streets, according to the U.S. Capitol Police.

Pierorazio pleaded not guilty Saturday to misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry, destruction of property, and failing to obey an officer, court records show.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Jeanette Clark also ordered a mental evaluation for Pierorazio.

Pierorazio's attorney was not immediately available for comment. The suspect is scheduled to appear at a hearing Aug. 12.

The Capitol Police on Wednesday arrested a Tennessee man who was driving near the Capitol complex with three firearms as well as ammunition in his vehicle.

In April, a Florida man was arrested after he landed his small helicopter on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, police said, violating restricted airspace and causing a security scare.

(Editing By Frank McGurty and Diane Craft)