U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a woman they said drove up to an inauguration checkpoint and falsely claimed she was a police officer and a member of the president’s cabinet, the authorities said.
The arrest on Saturday is the latest to raise alarms as the city braces for planned protests on Sunday and possible clashes on Wednesday, when Joseph R. Biden Jr. is scheduled to be sworn in as the next president.
As many as 25,000 National Guard troops are expected to flood the city by Inauguration Day, and officials have tried to keep some people who participated in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 from returning to the city.
The arrest on Friday of a Virginia man who had a gun in his truck raised residents’ fears until it was determined that the man appeared to be a security contractor who had illegally brought his personal gun into the District, where it was not registered.
Early on Sunday morning, city police officers also arrested a 22-year-old man from Virginia who they said had a handgun that he was not allowed to carry in the District. The man, identified as Guy Berry, 22, of Gordonsville, Va., was walking about a block away from Columbus Circle and had a Glock that was visible in a holster, three high-capacity magazines and 37 rounds of ammunition, the police said.
The woman arrested on Saturday, who the police identified as Linda MaGovern, 63, of Stratford, Conn., pulled up to a checkpoint near Columbus Circle, about half a mile from the U.S. Capitol, around 8:45 a.m. and showed officers a “military police challenge coin,” an unofficial keepsake widely distributed in military and police communities, according to a report from the city’s Metropolitan Police Department. The woman initially parked her car at the request of officers, but when they asked for her driver’s license, she began to drive away, the police said.
The police were able to stop her a few hundred feet away, in front of Union Station, and she was accused of three crimes: impersonating a police officer, failing to obey a police officer and trying to flee a police officer. The report said she was taken to a hospital for evaluation at a psychiatric unit. Ms. MaGovern could not immediately be reached.
The Metropolitan Police Department frequently makes gun arrests, although they rarely receive so much attention. In the week between Dec. 28 and Jan. 4, for example, the department reported that it had recovered 59 guns and arrested dozens of people on related gun charges.