Pa. man arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots
(AP) – Three men have been arrested on charges of clashing with police officers in separate incidents during the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riots, according to the US Department of Justice.
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced indictments against men from Vermont, Illinois and Pennsylvania — more than two years after the riot that halted confirmation of President Joe Biden’s election victory. Nearly 1,000 people across the US have been charged with federal crimes related to the attack on the Capitol and new arrests are still happening nearly every week.
William Nichols, 41, of Manchester, Vermont, was identified through a series of open-source videos and police body camera images showing him fighting with officers outside the Capitol, prosecutors said.
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According to court records, Nichols can be seen in the footage engaging in “violent interactions” with police officers. He is seen “wielding a large round shield” to hit officers, which in one instance caused an officer to lose his balance, the affidavit said. In another instance, he is seen using the shield to punch and shove several officers, sources said.
Defense attorney Michael Desautels said his office is representing Nichols for the Vermont investigation, but he doesn’t know who will represent him in Washington. He did not comment on the details of the case. Nichols was arrested in Vermont on Wednesday and appeared in federal court in Rutland, where he was released.
He is charged with assault, resisting or obstructing officials, and civil unrest.
Another man, Joseph Pavlik, 65, of Chicago, who authorities believe is linked to a Militia group called “B Squad”, was arrested Tuesday on charges of obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder, prosecutors said.
Authorities say Pavlik wore a black tactical vest, gas mask and helmet during the riot and was carrying what appeared to be chemical irritant spray. Pavlik joined a group of rioters trying to push past officers trying to secure a Capitol tunnel, prosecutors say. According to court records, he was seen in the tunnel putting pressure on the police line.
Pavlik was released Tuesday after an Illinois court date. No attorney was listed in the court record, so it wasn’t immediately clear if Pavlik has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
A third man, Dustin Sargent, 30, of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, was also arrested Wednesday on charges of assault, resisting or obstructing officers, and obstructing an official process.
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Sargent was seen shoving one officer and grabbing another during the riot “in an apparent attempt to physically force those officers and others away from the doors to allow other rioters access to the Capitol,” authorities wrote in court filings. In one video, he was heard telling an officer trying to keep rioters out of the home’s chamber: “You let us in there, you deserve a Medal of Honor,” authorities say.
Investigators say records obtained by Facebook show Sargent was sent a message two days before the riot, asking how he thought the “protest” would go. Authorities say Sargent responded that he wanted his wife to be able to come to hospital if she died and wrote that people in government “could be publicly hanged”.
An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney who represented Sargent on his first court appearance in Pennsylvania.
Charges brought against rioters ranged from misdemeanor offenses for those who entered the Capitol illegally but did not cause damage or assaulted officials, to felonies and inflammatory conspiracy for members of far-right groups accused of plotting to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
As of early last month, at least 538 cases have been resolved through guilty pleas, trials, dismissals or the death of the defendant, according to an Associated Press review of court records.
Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report from Boston.
https://www.abc27.com/news/top-stories/pa-man-arrested-in-connection-to-jan-6-capitol-riots/ Pa. man arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots