A man with an AR-15 assault rifle, a 40-caliber handgun and 90 rounds of ammunition was arrested at President Donald Trump’s namesake hotel in Washington early Wednesday morning after a tipster warned police, authorities said.
Bryan Moles, 43, of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of unregistered ammunition, police said.
According to a police report, officers observed a firearm in “plain view” inside his car, which led to a search of the vehicle and a second weapon and ammunition found in the glove box.
“I believe that the officers and our federal partners and, in particular, the tipster coming forward averted a potential disaster,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said at a Wednesday news conference.
A law enforcement official told CNN that the individual who alerted authorities in Pennsylvania said that Moles was traveling to DC and wanted to kill the President. CNN is unable to corroborate Moles’ intentions. People in the area said they have repeatedly heard Moles firing his gun on his property.
Another law enforcement source said the individual told police that Moles allegedly stated in cell phone messages to the tipster that he “wanted to get close to Trump” and he “wanted to be like Timothy McVeigh” — who bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people.
Newsham said Moles was cooperating with authorities but they did not have enough information to immediately charge him with making threats.
In a statement, the Secret Service said they were summoned to the scene to investigate “a report of a potential threat against Secret Service protectees” but did not provide further details on possible targets. They said at no time were any protectees at risk.
Patricia Tang, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, said in a statement that the safety and security of guests is the hotel’s top priority but otherwise directed questions to authorities.