Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., has been charged for allegedly pulling a fire alarm in a House of Representatives building during a government shutdown threat Sept. 30.
Bowman was charged with a false fire alarm Wednesday afternoon, and his arraignment is scheduled for Thursday morning.
An arrest warrant filed by U.S. Capitol Police Supervisory Special Agent Joseph McAtee says police were notified at 12:05 p.m. that a fire alarm had been pulled inside the Cannon House Office Building on the second floor.BO
When Bowman was interviewed by Capitol Police agents, he told them he responded "yes" when asked if he knew anything about the fire alarm. The Democratic representative said he was in a rush because votes were being called, adding that the door is usually open.
Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a news conference outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The TikTok chief executive officer plans to tell Congress on Thursday his app does mor
Bowman, according to the arrest warrant, told the agents he saw the nearby doors with a sign that said, "emergency exit only push to open," so "he pushed on the door and pulled the lever next to it, which must have been the alarm," the warrant states.
"[Bowman] advised that usually when votes are called, all doors are open, and that door is usually open (the second floor door leading to Independence Ave). The defendant further stated that this door was a usual door he uses. The defendant advised that he then went to a Dem (Democratic) meeting and a vote at the Capitol, then the House Sergeant at Arms contacted him."
Bowman told the agent he didn’t intend to pull a fire alarm and didn’t intend to disrupt or obstruct a congressional proceeding, then stated that he needed to get a lawyer and wouldn't make any further statements.
The agent wrote in the arrest warrant there was a sign next to the door that said "Emergency Exit Only," adding that the fire alarm had lettering that said, "FIRE. Push in Pull Down." Security camera footage reviewed by Capitol Police allegedly revealed that Bowman attempted to open both doors before pulling the fire alarm, then walked away.
Bowman told Fox News after being charged he's "happy for the quick resolution," adding that he has a plea agreement with prosecutors.
According to Bowman, the plea agreement requires him to pay a $1,000 fine and "stay out of trouble for three months."
"It was a lapse of judgment if you will. … Wasn't a conscious decision to do something wrong," Bowman said.
At the time of the incident, Bowman's chief of staff wrote on X that "Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion."
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