What to Know
- Larry Dawson, 66, of Tennessee, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday
- Dawson was charged in the March 28 incident at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in which police say he took out what looked like a gun
- Dawson faces more than 50 years in prison
A man accused of confronting police with a BB gun at the entrance of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, creating a major scare for visiting tourists and children, has been formally charged and faces more than 50 years in prison.
Larry Dawson, 66, of Antioch, Tennessee, made his first court appearance in D.C. Wednesday. He was in a wheelchair and wearing hospital clothes.
Dawson was shot by an officer after he brought what appeared to be a black handgun into the visitor's center, pulled it from his waistband and pointed it at a U.S. Capitol Police officer on March 28, investigators said.
He has been hospitalized since the incident.
Dawson was formally charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees with a dangerous weapon and assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon
Prosecutors said "civilians, including children, had to crouch against walls to avoid gunfire."
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A judge ordered Dawson be held in custody as the case proceeds.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17.
Dawson has had trouble with Capitol police in the past when he allegedly stood up and shouted Bible verses in October 2015 in the House Chamber Gallery.
According to court documents from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Dawson identified himself as a “Prophet of God” to the people in the gallery.
According to the documents, Dawson was removed from gallery and, while being removed from the building, pushed a police officer and began to run. He was caught and charged with assault on a police officer.