The Bell County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with Federal Agents concerning the background of a Pineville Kentucky man after a reported arrest last week.
The man, identified as Charles Lawson of Pineville, was taken into custody on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at the Pentagon.
He had a shotgun, ammunition and a machete in the Silverado pickup truck he was in, according to court documents.
Fox 5 Washington DC reports that Lawson, who had driven from Kentucky to the Pentagon, approached two Pentagon police officers around 3:30pm in the south parking lot and while speaking to the officers, Lawson made "incoherent statements about being in the area for 'liberty business.'"
Court documents state that when the officers asked Lawson if he had weapons on him or in his 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, court documents say he told them he had a "loaded 12-gauge shotgun in his vehicle." After placing Lawson in handcuffs, the officers searched his truck and discovered the shotgun with loaded with six shotgun shells, a 25-count box of more shotgun shells, two loose shotgun shells, an 18-inch machete, a "green leafy substance wrapped in white paper," a yellow pocket knife, a red Swiss army knife and an open 1.75 bottle of Jim Beam Vanilla bourbon whiskey.
Lawson told authorities he had left his Pineville, Kentucky home the previous night with his shotgun, stopped at a Wal-Mart and purchased the ammunition, and drove straight to the Pentagon, where he only stopped to get gas, arriving at 3:30 p.m. He also told authorities he had been drinking alcohol throughout the day and court documents say "he appeared to be visibly intoxicated." Department of Defense spokesperson Heather Babb told the Daily Mail in an emailed statement that Lawson: “admitted that he had a loaded weapon in his vehicle and verbally consented to a search of his vehicle'
Lawson was reportedly taken to Arlington County Department of Human Services where he agreed to a psychiatric evaluation. Although Charles Lawson has not been arrested for any issues in Bell County, a background check found that Lawson could not legally have a gun because he was involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness in February of this year. In a petition for his commitment, Lawson’s wife stated that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
WTOP reports that Lawson is charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm after having previously been committed to a mental institution.
**This is NOT the same Charles Lawson arrested recently for shooting at officers in the Cary community.