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Former Boston police officer arrested for alleged assault in Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection

Former Boston Police Department officer Joseph Robert Fisher (circled) captured on surveillance video during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Fisher is now facing criminal charges in connection with the riot.United States Department of Justice

A former Boston police officer who lives in Plymouth was arrested Thursday for allegedly assaulting a police officer during the US Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors said.

Joseph Robert Fisher, 52, was arrested Thursday morning by FBI agents in Plymouth on several charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, said the office of Matthew M. Graves, US attorney for Washington D.C., in a statement.

A request for comment was sent Thursday to a federal public defender assigned to represent Fisher, whose initial appearance was held in US District Court in Boston. Fisher didn’t enter a plea and was released on certain conditions, with a remote hearing in federal court slated for April 6 at 1 p.m., in Washington, D.C., records show.


An FBI affidavit filed in the case said Fisher, who has a record of “prior employment in the Boston Police Department as a Boston Police Officer,” allegedly entered the Capitol around 2:24 p.m. during the insurrection.

Former BPD officer Joseph Robert Fisher captured on surveillance video during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Fisher is now facing criminal charges in connection with the Capitol attack. United States Department of Justice

Surveillance footage allegedly showed Fisher entering the House side of the Capitol Visitor Center Orientation Lobby at approximately 2:37 p.m., according to the filing, and moments later a “physical altercation began between rioters and U.S. Capitol Police Officers.”

Another rioter, the affidavit said, deployed pepper spray or mace at officers, and one officer began chasing that person.

“At approximately 2:39 PM, Fisher pushed a chair into” the officer as he was running, according to the filing.

Fisher then allegedly physically assaulted the officer, which “ended with Fisher on the ground and out of the camera frame,” the affidavit said.

Fisher joined the Boston force on Dec. 21, 1994, and retired on Dec. 14, 2016. From July 29, 2015, to his retirement, he was assigned to the “Medically Incapacitated Section,’’ a department spokesperson said Thursday.


His last active assignment was as a member of the department’s K-9 unit, police said.

The FBI Boston Division said in a separate statement that Fisher was the 22nd person their agents have arrested in connection with the insurrection. The division covers Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The deadly insurrection began after Donald J. Trump, in the waning days of his presidency, gave a fiery speech to a crowd of supporters urging them to “fight like hell” before they marched to the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s November 2020 presidential election victory.

The riotous mob breached the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to evacuate to an undisclosed location for several hours before the certification process could continue.

Five people died in the attack or its immediate aftermath, and scores more were injured, including at least 140 members of law enforcement who were harassed, beaten, and sprayed with gas substances.

In an unprecedented move, the House Jan. 6 committee in December referred Trump to the Justice Department for possible prosecution of crimes related to the insurrection. Trump has denied wrongdoing and is seeking reelection in 2024.

John Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press was used in it.

Travis Andersen can be reached at