LOS ANGELES – A man suspected of making threats against the White House was pulled from his car Thursday after an hours-long standoff in the parking lot of the Federal Building in West Los Angeles.
The man had refused to leave his red Volkswagen Beetle and withstood four rounds of chemical agents tossed inside the car after police broke a rear window. Minutes later, officers shot out the drivers window with a bean bag gun and pulled him out.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan identified the suspect as Joseph Moshe, 56, of Los Angeles. Moshe is suspected of calling a police dispatch number Wednesday and making threatening statements about the White House, Donovan said.
Police pulled him from the car after he rejected repeated attempts to negotiate his surrender.
The Federal Building had been locked down since noon, and employees were told to stay inside, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Officers spotted Moshe's car around 10 a.m. near his home in the Westchester neighborhood and pursued him through the city's west side, police Det. Gus Villanueva said.
He drove around the federal building parking area once before a police SUV blocked his path as he tried to return to the street. Officers then surrounded his car with police cruisers.
The man sat in the car smoking for hours before a robot broke a rear window of the car so officers could see inside and try to communicate, but the man did not respond, police Lt. Ruben de la Torre said.
Police did not know if the man was armed, he said.
Authorities said Moshe is wanted on two misdemeanors but did not provide details.
An apartment house across the street was evacuated, police said.
Asked how the man was able to withstand multiple rounds of what appeared to be tear gas, Villanueva said some people are able to resist to the chemicals.
"I can't explain that, there's no way to explain that," he said.