WASHINGTON — Federal authorities in Michigan have arrested a man suspected of using a hockey stick to repeatedly hit police officers during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol — including beating one who had already fallen to the ground.
Like others who have been arrested in connection with the rioting, the man, Michael Joseph Foy, has been charged with obstruction of a congressional proceeding and unlawful entry into a restricted building. But he also faces additional, more serious charges, including forcibly assaulting a federal officer, making him the latest in a growing number of suspects charged with attacking police officers.
According to an F.B.I. affidavit made public on Thursday, investigators identified numerous riot videos and photographs on social media in which Mr. Foy appeared, including footage of violence against police officers compiled and published by The New York Times.
Another video, posted on YouTube, appears to show Mr. Foy “lifting the stick above his head and swinging it down rapidly, striking an individual on the ground several times,” the affidavit said. “At no point does it appear that the individual on the ground is acting aggressively, nor does it appear” that the attack was “justified.”
The victim — apparently a police officer — was not identified in the court filing.
The F.B.I. identified Mr. Foy using postings on his father’s Facebook page; among other things, his father wrote, in discussing a picture of his son during the riot, “he was raised better,” according to the affidavit. Other postings about Mr. Foy cited in the complaint indicate that he is a former member of the Marine Corps.
Mr. Foy is one of several people arrested in recent days and charged with attacking police officers in assaults caught on video. Prosecutors this week charged a Connecticut man, Patrick E. McCaughey, with trapping a police officer, Daniel Hodges, behind a riot shield as a crowd pressed against him. In a widely seen video of the incident, Officer Hodges cried for help in pain until eventually being pulled to safety.
On Tuesday, the F.B.I. accused Mathew Capsel, whose state was not identified in an affidavit, of being the tattooed rioter seen in a video fighting against National Guardsmen until he was pepper sprayed. The video, posted on TikTok, depicts him “charging against a lined group” of the guards and “running into their protective shields,” the affidavit said.
A man who turned himself in to the authorities on Monday, Emanuel Jackson, faces five federal charges, including assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon. He is accused of being the person who in a video is seen “making a fist and repeatedly striking” a police officer who was trying to restrain a crowd breaking through the Capitol windows and doors early in the riot, according to a complaint. Two hours later, it says, he was captured on video using a metal baseball bat to hit a row of officers holding plexiglass shields.
A law-enforcement affidavit filed against another man charged this week, Vitali Gossjankowski of Florida, suggests that he may have used a Taser on a police officer who suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized, but stops short of directly accusing him of the assault.
The affidavit said someone who looked like Mr. Gossjankowski was caught on video activating a Taser and moving toward a place where the officer was stunned in the neck multiple times. Mr. Gossjankowski, the affidavit said, admitted that he had had a Taser but claimed he had just found it and did not use it to attack the officer, saying that “if he touched him, he touched his helmet and it was merely to help him.”
On Monday in Texas, authorities arrested Ryan Taylor Nichols, accusing him of being the rioter caught on video taking a red canister of pepper spray and using it on a federal law enforcement agent who was trying to restrain the mob from entering the Capitol.
And last week, Peter Francis Stager of Arkansas was charged with obstructing law enforcement officers after officials identified him as the person who wielded a pole with an American flag attached to it to “repeatedly strike” an officer who “remained prone” on the Capitol steps, according to a criminal complaint. The episode was widely viewed on social media videos.
“Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor,” Mr. Stager said in an apparent reference to the Capitol, according to a video obtained by the F.B.I. “Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building.”
Source : New York Times