As new details emerge about the Friday night arrest of a Virginia man at a D.C. security checkpoint, the incident is taking on a different cast.
CNN was the first to report news of the arrest of 31-year-old Wesley Beeler, who according to a police report, was trying to pass a police checkpoint in an increasingly militarized zone less than half a mile north of Capitol grounds in his truck using an “unauthorized” credential.
Beeler presented U.S. Capitol Police with what one officer called “an unauthorized inauguration credential” in a statement filed Saturday, according to The New York Times.
But new developments and additional reporting from the Times including details from a federal law enforcement official, revealed that Beeler was a contractor and the credential, although unauthorized, was not fake.
In the statement filed in a District of Columbia court earlier on Saturday, Capitol Police officer Roger Dupont said that he had checked Beeler’s credential against a list and found that it did not give him the authority to enter the restricted area.
A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police told the Times that Beeler had shown a “nongovernment issued” credential.
When police asked Beeler on Friday if he was carrying any weapons, Beeler reportedly told them he had a Glock semi-automatic pistol. According to the Times, upon searching the vehicle, police said they recovered the loaded weapon, in addition to 509 rounds of ammunition and 21 shotgun shells.
The Times said that documents filed in court and an incident report from the city’s Metropolitan Police Department show that Beeler was arrested for five crimes, including possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition, that were not registered as required in Washington. D.C., among other offenses.
It was not clear why Beeler was trying to pass through the closed off area, but Beeler’s father, Paul Beeler, told the Times in an interview that his son was part of a security team working alongside the Capitol Police and the National Guard and that he must have left his personal gun in his car, adding that his son had recently been working as a security guard on Capitol grounds.
When asked if he believed his son supported a peaceful transition of power, the arrested man’s father reportedly said that was “the reason” his son was there.