A New Hampshire man is among the 14 people Capitol Police arrested Wednesday when a mob of supporters of Republican President Donald Trump invaded the building, forcing the evacuation of the House and Senate, which had gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the presidential race.
Thomas R. Gallagher, 61, of Bridgewater, N.H., is charged with unlawful entry, but the specific actions he took in the rioting were not released. Four people died in the unprecedented incident.
Gallagher’s wife declined comment Thursday, and it was not known if he had retained an attorney.
The others charged with unlawful entry were Leonard Guthrie of Cape May, N.J.; John Anderson of St. Augustine, Fla.; Matthew Council of Riverview, Fla.; Bradley Ruskelas of Inverness, Ill.; Michael Curzio of Summerfield, Fla; Cindy Fitchett of Cobbs Creek, Va; Terry Brown of Myerstown, Pa.; Douglas Sweet of Hudgins, Va.; and Zandra Sixkiller-Cramer of Glenwood, Md.
Massachusetts residents were among those who attended the event, and US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement Thursday that they could face criminal charges here.
“The Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and assembly. What is does not protect is a violent assault on government institutions. Americans on the right and left must re-learn the difference,” Lelling said in a statement. “Anyone who traveled from Massachusetts with the intent to commit such crimes will be prosecuted in the District of Massachusetts.”
District of Columbia police made a series of arrests. More than 90 people have been arrested by police in Washington and more arrests are likely, The Associated Press reported.
Capitol Police also charged Mark Leffingerwell, who had no fixed address, with assaulting a police officer, unlawful entry, and resisting arrest.
Lonnie Coffman of Falkville, Ala., was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of unregistered ammunition. Grant Moore of Buford, Ga., was also charged with carrying a pistol without a license and unregistered ammunition.
David Blair of Clarksburg, Md., was charged with assault on a police officer, Capitol Police said.
In a statement, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the assault on the Capitol was unprecedented in his 30 years in law enforcement.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge. ... But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior.”