The leader of a convoy of truck drivers arrested in the district

The leader of a convoy of truckers who protested by driving slowly around the ring road was arrested in the district on Wednesday morning after the group drove vehicles down a street off the National Mall.

DC police say David Riddell is wanted on a warrant from Maryland.

Maryland State Police have charged Riddell, 57, a truck driver from Ohio, with disobeying a lawful police order and deliberately driving a vehicle at a slow speed ‘interfering with normal traffic and reasonable”.

The group was called the “people’s convoy”. But a small group split off and renamed the “Restoration Movement of 1776” and drove on I-495 on the July 4 holiday, slowing traffic.

It was not immediately possible to determine how many trucks were in the district. DC police had no comment beyond confirming the arrest; a Maryland State Police spokesperson confirmed that a warrant had been issued for Riddell’s arrest.

The truck convoy returns to the DC area. Here’s what you need to know.

The group was began protesting coronavirus vaccination mandates, but has since expanded his list of right-wing grievances. Earlier this year, the “People’s Convoy” drove almost daily around the ring road and briefly entered DC, staying mostly on freeways. The group left at the end of March after being closely followed by the police, who sometimes blocked the entrances to the city.

But Riddell vowed to be more aggressive when the group returns to the nation’s capital. On social media app Telegram, members said they regretted the way the protests unfolded in March and issued calls in May for “civil disobedience”.

On Wednesday, several people driving trucks converged on a street alongside the mall. An attendee streamed the encounter on livestreamed video that showed a man suspected of being Riddell in handcuffs.

The unnamed person said police were ordering the truck off the street to enforce a no parking zone, although they could not locate a sign specifically prohibiting trucks.

DC police officers briefly formed a line as truckers yelled at them and claimed one of the protesters was injured when she fell from a truck during a confrontation with law enforcement. A deputy police chief at the scene confirmed that a woman received medical attention after a fall, but did not provide further details of the encounter.

“We did nothing wrong,” one of the truck drivers shouted at the officers. “There are no signs indicating that there are no trucks.” The man called the officers ‘cowards’ and vowed to stay on the streets until the tow trucks arrived.

“There should be freedom in the United States,” the man shouted.

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