A Kentucky man is facing federal charges after he is accused of showing up to the Pentagon with a shotgun, ammunition and a machete.
According to court documents, Charles Lawson approached two Pentagon police officers in the south parking lot on Aug. 6. He made incoherent statements, according to investigators, telling them he came to the government facility for “liberty business.”
When an officer questioned Lawson about whether he had any weapons, he admitted to having a shotgun in his car. Police handcuffed him as his truck was searched.
They said they found a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, an 18-inch machete and a pocket knife. A box of shotgun shells was also found inside the truck.
Lawson told police that he left Pineville, Kentucky, the night before in his 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and only stopped for gas during his drive to the Pentagon.
When he arrived at 3:30 p.m., Lawson admitted that he spent the day drinking alcohol, court documents said. An open bottle of whiskey was found in his car, along with what police called a “green leafy substance” that was wrapped in white paper.
Police took Lawson to the hospital for a physical and mental well-being assessment, where a doctor told police that Lawson commented about being diagnosed as a schizophrenic, according to court documents.
A background check found that Lawson could not legally have a gun because he was involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness in February. In a petition for his commitment, Lawson’s wife stated that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Lawson is charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm after having previously been committed to a mental institution.