The leader of the latest iteration of the trucker convoy visiting the D.C. area was arrested Wednesday while the group was demonstrating on the National Mall.
David “Santa” Riddell, 57, was arrested by D.C. police and is awaiting extradition to Montgomery County, Maryland, for traffic-related charges stemming from the group’s road blockade on July 4 on Interstate 270 near its interchange with I-370 in Gaithersburg.
Mr. Riddell’s charges are willfully disobeying (lawful order, direction) of a police officer, willfully driving a motor vehicle at slow speed impeding normal and reasonable traffic movement and (stopping, parking, leaving standing) vehicle on highway outside of business & residential district.
Mr. Riddell is facing the possibility of $430 in fines for the three charges in the Rockville District Court.
The group, known as the 1776 Restoration Movement, briefly blocked traffic Monday along southbound I-95 near Route 198 in Virginia, as well as near the Virginia-D.C. line on I-395 northbound. The group left one lane open to allow emergency vehicles to get by.
In its July 4 statement, the group appears to reference the interaction with police on I-270 by saying that “only one team had any problem completing the 30 minutes, so rather than be arrested, they kept the convoy moving at a slow pace.”
The group’s local home base is Bunker Hill, West Virginia, in the state’s eastern panhandle.