- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 19, 2005


A Michigan man upset about the deportation of his daughter’s fiance threatened to blow up his van a block from the White House yesterday afternoon, prompting a 4-hour standoff with police that resulted in gridlocked downtown streets for the evening rush hour.

A motorcade carrying President Bush was diverted to a different White House entrance when the president returned from a speech at the MCI Center.

The standoff ended peacefully about 8 p.m. when Lowell Timmers, 54, of Cedar Spring, Mich., surrendered. The break came after a robot delivered a telephone so he could talk with negotiators.

Mr. Timmers has been charged with making bomb threats. Police were still questioning him last night.

Debra Weierman, spokeswoman for the FBI’s D.C. field office, said the man said he had 15 gallons of gasoline and that he would “blow it up if he doesn’t get his child back.”

The standoff began at about 3:30 p.m. at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, along the parade route that Mr. Bush will travel after his inauguration tomorrow.

Nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution. Police shut down streets and moved vehicles to block the van, snarling traffic and keeping many workers from leaving their offices.

WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported that the man’s wife said he came to the District to take up his grievances with the senators from Michigan.

Nick Wutherich, visiting from Texas, walked past the parked van early on. He described the driver as having a blank expression on his face. Mr. Wutherich said he suddenly heard screams and saw police with guns drawn converging on the van and ordering people out of the area.

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