WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pennsylvania physician who was behaving suspiciously and had made threatening remarks was arrested Wednesday at the Trump International Hotel in Washington after police found an assault-style rifle and handgun in his car, authorities said.
Bryan Moles of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, was taken into custody at the downtown hotel, where he was staying as a guest, police said. At a news conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said his department, as well as the Secret Service, received a tip from the Pennsylvania State Police at about 12:30 a.m. The tipster reported that Moles was traveling to the Trump Hotel in Washington, armed with weapons and ammunition.
Moles, 43, checked into the hotel about 30 minutes later, Newsham said. Authorities worked with hotel security to locate Moles’ car, and later, Moles himself inside the hotel.
“I was very concerned about this circumstance,” Newsham said, “and I believe the officers and our federal partners, and in particular the tipster, averted a potential disaster here in our nation’s capital.”
The Secret Service said in a statement that special agents from its Washington Field Office, as well as local police officers, began investigating potential threats made against people the agency protects, but at no time were they at risk. The statement didn’t identify the people.
The Secret Service protects presidents and vice presidents and their families, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries, facilities and major events.
A police report said authorities saw a firearm in Moles’ vehicle and found another inside the glove compartment. Police seized a Glock 23 pistol, a Bushmaster assault-style rifle and 90 rounds of ammunition.
Newsham declined to comment on what may have motivated Moles.
The police chief said Moles is being interviewed, and is giving authorities information.
He is being charged with carrying a pistol without a license and having unregistered ammunition. Newsham added that the department does not presently have enough evidence to charge Moles with making threats, although a department spokesman earlier indicated that was part of the tip to Pennsylvania authorities.
Pennsylvania records show Moles renewed his license to practice medicine in October 2016. It wasn’t immediately clear where he works. Moles worked at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, until late 2013, according to Dan Laurent, a spokesman for Allegheny Health Network.
Moles served in the U.S. Navy from 1992 to 2006. He was a hospital corpsman, and was in the reserves in Erie for the last nine years of his service. He received several honors, including a Navy Reserve Meritorious Service Medal and a Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.
Hotel spokeswoman Patricia Tang said in a statement that “authorities arrested a guest who was behaving suspiciously,” but referred further questions to authorities.
FBI spokeswoman Minique Crump said the agency initially responded, but referred further questions to the local police, who are taking the lead on the investigation.
Edinboro is about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Washington, Juliet Linderman in Baltimore and Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.