Two armed men arrested near Philadelphia voting centre

6 November 2020, 22:34

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia. Picture: PA

The pair were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip-off about their plans to Philadelphia police.

Two men armed with handguns have been arrested near the Philadelphia convention centre where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election.

Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio LaMotta, 61, travelled to the city from the Virginia Beach area in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said.

They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip-off about their plans to Philadelphia police.

Officers stopped the men on the street about a block away from the vehicle, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
The Hummer vehicle was parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Centre (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Macias had a .40-caliber Beretta handgun inside his jacket, LaMotta had a 9mm Beretta in a holster and an AR-style rifle and ammunition were found inside the vehicle, Ms Outlaw said.

Authorities initially said that the rifle did not have a serial number but later said that it did.

A woman with the men was not arrested, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

A silver Hummer with Virginia licence plates was parked on Friday at the location where police say they found the men. It was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

Macias and LaMotta, both of Chesapeake, Virginia, remained in police custody on Friday and were awaiting arraignment on state weapons charges – carrying a concealed firearm without a licence and carrying a firearm on a public street.

Macias and LaMotta’s arrests drew attention amid heightened tensions over the undecided presidential race, but officials cautioned against reading too much into them.

There was no indications that anyone else was involved or that the men are members of an extremist group, Mr Krasner said.

He did not say why the men went to Philadelphia, though in a statement Mr Krasner’s office said the tip-off that led police to them mentioned their trip may have had to do with the ongoing counting of votes.

“There have been no reported incidents of violence related to the election here this week, and that streak continues thanks to the quick investigative work of the Philadelphia Police,” Mr Krasner said.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Gas hob

French urged to immediately reduce fuel and energy use

Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden

Biden urges G7 to remain united against Russian aggression in Ukraine

Smoke rises from building

Russian missiles target Kyiv as troops consolidate gains in the east

Climate activists in rally

Climate club: How Germany hopes to keep G7 leaders’ focus on the environment

The incident happened in the town of East London in Eastern Cape

At least 17 young people found dead in South African nightclub

Pro-choice supporters

Abortion rights supporters and opponents map next move

Migrants at Spanish border

Death toll from ‘stampede’ at Spanish border in Morocco climbs to 23

A boy holds his pet dog as his family evacuated from the war-hit area gets on an evacuation train in Pokrovsk, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, June 25, 2022

Russia edges closer to swallowing up Ukraine’s last remaining Luhansk stronghold

US Rep Mary Miller, of Illinois, speaks as former President Donald Trump stands behind her on stage at a rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon on Saturday

Congresswoman calls removal of abortion rights a ‘victory for white life’

Russia Ukraine War

Russia pushes to block second city in eastern Ukraine

President Joe Biden waves to the media as he walks to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland

Biden arrives in Europe ahead of G7 and Nato summits

Chicago police at the scene where a five-month-old girl was shot and killed in the South Shore neighbourhood of Chicago

Five-month-old girl shot dead in car in Chicago

Tourists fill plastic bottles with water from a public fountain at the Sforzesco Castle in Milan, Italy

Milan to turn off fountains as drought hits Italy

A photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Seven accusers write to Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentencing judge

Vitali Klitschko

European mayors duped into calls with impostor posing as Kyiv’s Vitali Klitschko

People lay flowers at the scene of a shooting in central Oslo, Norway

Gunman kills two during Oslo Pride festival