North Carolina resident Floyd Roseberry pleaded guilty Friday to one charge of threatening to use explosives during an hours-long standoff outside the Library of Congress in August 2021, the Justice Department announced.
At around 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2021, the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police arrived outside the Library of Congress to find Roseberry in a black Chevrolet truck with no license plates.
During the standoff, Roseberry streamed video and audio of the encounter live on Facebook, saying that he had come to Washington upset about the results of the 2020 election. He demanded President Joe Biden resign, and also demanded to speak to the president about his grievances.
Roseberry was seen on the stream holding a small metal keg, with putty on top and a trigger.
Investigators found black powder in the device after the end of the standoff, but determined it was not enough to be detonated, either by the trigger or by acoustic vibrations as Roseberry claimed.
The hypothetical blast was intended to destroy two and a half blocks, engulfing the Library of Congress and other federal real estate. He also told authorities that four other individuals were in D.C. with their own explosives.
Despite this, Roseberry told authorities that he did not intend to hurt anyone.
“Tell them to clear the Capitol. Tell them to clear it … They need to clear that ‘cause I got a bomb in here. I don’t want nobody hurt. Yes sir, I don’t want nobody hurt. I’m not coming here to hurt nobody,” Roseberry said, according to the DOJ.
As he threw dollar bills out of his windows, Roseberry made a series of claims about his device, saying that it was full of Tannerite, but then saying it contained ammonium nitrate, a different explosive, instead.
To ward off police from shooting his windows open, Roseberry mentioned the supposed acoustic mechanism; confusing numeric digits for the measurement unit of sound, he repeatedly mentioned “decimals” instead of decibels.
“I’m telling you, my windows pop, this bomb is gonna’ go, it’s made for decimals,” Roseberry said.
At around 10:21 a.m., Roseberry switched to communication via a whiteboard held up to the driver’s side window, warning authorities not to shoot for fear of “decimals” setting off the bomb. At around 11:21 a.m., he identified himself to the authorities as Ray Roseberry using the white dry erase board.
Roseberry would surrender after around five hours of standoff with authorities.
In an early court appearance, Roseberry said he had not taken his “mind medicine”, prompting a mental competency assessment.
While a psychiatrist found that Roseberry‘s medicine was ineffective at treating his bipolar disorder, a magistrate judge would find Roseberry competent enough to stand trial, according to the Associated Press.
Roseberry faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
• Brad Matthews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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