Army Parachute Landing at Nationals Park Leads to Evacuation of U.S. Capitol

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 21, 2022

The U.S. Army Parachute Team the Golden Knights jump out of their aircraft before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Washington. The U.S. Capitol was briefly evacuated after police said they were tracking an aircraft “that poses a probable threat,” but the plane turned out to be the military aircraft with people parachuting out of it for a demonstration at the Nationals game, officials told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The U.S. Capitol Police announced it evacuated the Capitol building "out of an abundance of caution" Wednesday before deeming there was no credible threat.

Yet that caution was because of a U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute landing at Nationals Park prior to the game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mike Valerio of CNN reported a single-engine aircraft flew the parachutists above Nationals Park and near the Capitol and that the demonstration was "not coordinated appropriately."

Andrew Desiderio of Politico added visual context:

Andrew Desiderio @AndrewDesiderio

Per <a href="https://twitter.com/flightradar24?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@flightradar24</a>, this U.S. Army parachute team aircraft was circling the area for a while. It’s apparently for tonight’s Nationals game. <br><br>It appears that someone forgot to tell USCP, triggering tonight’s evacuation order……… <a href="https://t.co/2i8uvlXf4t">pic.twitter.com/2i8uvlXf4t</a>

Washington D.C. police confirmed the plane used for the parachute landing is what triggered the evacuation for, at the time, being deemed "a probable threat to the Capitol Complex," per Alanea Cremen of WUSA9.

Sharla McBride of WUSA9 shared video of the U.S. Army parachute team, which was part of the ceremonies for the Nationals' military appreciation night:

Sharla McBride @SharlaMcBride

There is no threat! The <a href="https://twitter.com/USArmy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USArmy</a> Golden Knights parachute team came into <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NatsPark?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NatsPark</a> tonight for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MilitaryAppreciationNight?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MilitaryAppreciationNight</a> . The plane they jumped out was deemed a threat at the time. All is clear now at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USCapitol?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USCapitol</a>. Parachute team has landed successfully on centerfield <a href="https://twitter.com/wusa9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wusa9</a> <a href="https://t.co/p5ePUeUTfi">pic.twitter.com/p5ePUeUTfi</a>

Wednesday's contest was the third of a four-game set between the two teams.