A man photographed smoking a cigar during the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 has been criminally charged.
Dominic “Spaz” Pezzola, 43, from Rochester, New York, turned himself in and was taken into custody on Friday.
The Department of Justice stated that he “was charged by criminal complaint with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(c)(2); one count of destruction of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361; and one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a). Following a hearing in the Western District of New York, Pezzola was ordered detained.”
An affidavit charges that Pezzola broke a window of the Capitol with a police riot shield while someone else shouted “Go, go, go!”
It also alleges that a video inside the Capitol shows “Pezzola smoking a cigar inside the building. In that video, Pezzola can be heard saying words to the effect of, “Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys. This is [expletive] awesome. I knew we could take this [expletive] over [if we] just tried hard enough.”
The affidavit also alleges that after the storming ended, Pezzola and others said that they would have killed anyone they would have gotten their hands on, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Michael Pence. The affidavit also alleges that members of the group talked about going back to Washington and killing every [expletive] they could.
Black Lives Matter Supporter Released
After the recent arrest of John Sullivan, a supporter of Black Lives Matter, leader of the far-left group “Insurgence USA,” he was released conditionally without bail on Friday after he was arrested and charged for his alleged activities at the U.S. Capitol amid the breach of the building on Jan. 6.
The Department of Justice on Jan. 14 announced that Sullivan, 27, was arrested on the same day in Utah and charged with being on restricted grounds without authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and interfering with law enforcement.
Sullivan made his first appearance in court via a virtual hearing in Salt Lake City on Jan. 15. Magistrate Judge Daphne A. Oberg of the United States District Court for the District of Utah said that the DOJ did not meet the legal threshold to get a detention hearing, reported Inner City Press, noting that the DOJ did not file a detention memo.
“We seek detention, but we want 3 days,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Reeves at the hearing, according to the outlet.
“First you have to meet the threshold for a detention hearing,” Oberg said.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sullivan was released under the condition that he surrenders his passport, wears a GPS monitor, undergoes a mental health check, and remains home unless for court-approved activities—including work, religious services, and medical treatment.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.