United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers noticed a small white van illegally parked on U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C., USA at around 3:45 p.m. on October 19, 2022. Tony Henry Payne, 80, of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, USA was the driver of the van.
Payne was arrested after telling the officers that he had guns in the van. Also in the van was a woman and another man, who were not publicly identified.
The officers found a pipe, a shotgun, two handguns and containers inside the van. During the search, Payne’s two companions were detained.
Payne’s companions told the officers that they were there to deliver documents to the U.S. Supreme Court. After a thorough search, the USCP Hazardous Incident Response Division cleared the group’s van.
While Payne was arrested, his two companions were released without charges. The Tunnel Hill resident was charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing unregistered ammunition and carrying a pistol without a license.
Aside from Tunnel Hill, Payne has lived in other parts of Georgia including Cohutta and Rocky Face. Tunnel Hill was originally called Doe Run, which was renamed Tunnelsville when it was incorporated on March 4, 1848.
Tunnelsville was renamed Tunnel Hill when it was incorporated as a town in 1856. The town is named for the Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel.