Floyd Roseberry, accused of threatening to blow up the Capitol, freed

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A man who a year ago forced an evacuation from Capitol Hill saying his truck was loaded with explosives was suffering the effects of being given the wrong drugs, a judge ruled Wednesday. After a year in DC custody, the judge allowed Floyd Ray Roseberry, 50, to await trial from his home in North Carolina.

“The Court finds that proper medication and strict supervision will reasonably ensure that Mr. Roseberry does not pose a danger to the community,” wrote Judge Rudolph Contreras of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Roseberry has had mental health issues since childhood, her attorney said in court documents, including bipolar disorder. He began to deteriorate in recent years after the death of several close relatives. In the summer of 2020, suicidal but unable to get hospital treatment, Roseberry went to her primary care physician and was prescribed Adderall and Valium.

Man who claimed to have bomb outside Capitol found fit to stand trial

He was taking those medications as prescribed when he traveled to DC a year later and parked near the U.S. Capitol in a truck on Aug. 19, 2021, court records show. In a Facebook Live video, he requested an audience with President Biden and warned that he and others had explosives with him, sending the area already on high alert since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Roseberry surrendered to authorities after approximately five hours.

Teresa Grant, a behavioral psychologist who assessed Roseberry in DC prison, told the court on Monday she was “shocked” to learn he was taking a combination of medications “contraindicated” for bipolar disorder.

“It can contribute to a manic or psychotic episode, and I think that’s what happened,” she told the hearing. Now that Roseberry is on mood-stabilizing medication, she said “he’s pretty stable.”

A trial date has not been set. Through public attorney Mary Petras, Roseberry denied ever threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction as accused by the defendant. Petras says he only warned that if he was hit by gunfire, his truck would explode and destroy surrounding blocks and that there were five other people in DC with bombs.

His truck contained nothing that could trigger an explosion, and there was no one else with him, she said.

At an earlier hearing, a corrections officer testified that during an assault by another inmate that left him with a broken jaw, Roseberry intervened and stopped further violence.

Man who claimed to have a bomb near the Capitol is accused of threatening to use a ‘weapon of mass destruction’

“Not only is he not a danger to anyone, he helps the guards” in the prison, Petras said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice said in court Monday that his wife, a psychiatric nurse, agreed that the combination of Adderall and Valium was dangerous for someone with bipolar disorder. But Tortorice argued that even with proper treatment, Roseberry poses a risk.

“The government is not suggesting that Mr. Roseberry’s mental health did not play a role in the offence,” he said. “I think so.” But he said there were concerns ‘if his meds should change or if he shouldn’t take them’.


Washington

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