Man with pressure cooker in car apologizes, calls actions ‘stupid’

WASHINGTON — The man who owned the pressure cooker destroyed by police during the Memorial Day concert apologized for his actions and said he should have considered the contents of his vehicle before choosing a parking space along the National Mall Sunday evening.

Israel Shimeles, of Alexandria, tells NBC Washington that he understands why the propane tank and pressure cooker, which he uses for work and were left in his vehicle, caused concern and why the U.S. Capitol Police had to destroy the pressure cooker.

“I’m in the belly of the beast. Basically, I parked right in front of the Capitol,” Shimeles tells NBC Washington. “I just happened to be there. I should have thought about it a little bit more.”

He says his car was parked in an area where the pressure cooker would cause concern, calling his actions “stupid.”

Police discovered the pressure cooker on 3rd Street between Jefferson and Madison drives about 5 p.m. and destroyed it about 15 minutes before the National Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol lawn was to begin nearby.

“I apologize to inconvenience all those people,” he says.

Shimeles says he cooperated with police. Nothing hazardous was found in his car.

He was arrested on a charge of operating after revocation. It was not clear if the charge was for driving without license or related to some other type of operating permit.

Two pressure cooker bombs injured 260 people and killed three others when the devices detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.

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