New York Capitol Protester, Proud Boys Member Smoking Cigar During Capitol Incursion Arrested


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 WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Another U.S. Capitol incursionist was arrested on federal charges this week after being identified in photos taken inside the U.S. Capitol building.  A New York State man was taken into custody and charged Friday with unlawful entry, destruction of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, also known as “Spaz” and “Spazzo,” of Rochester, New York, 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, Section1752(a).  Following a hearing in the Western District of New York, Pezzola was ordered detained.

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The affidavit in support of criminal complaint alleges that Pezzola unlawfully gained entry to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by breaking a window in the U.S. Capitol with a U.S. Capitol Police shield, as an individual in the crowd yelled “Go Go Go,” before entering the Capitol building.

The affidavit also alleges that a video posted from 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 f***ing awesome.  I knew we could take this mother***er over [if we] just tried hard enough.”

The affidavit alleges that Pezzola was photographed in December, 2020, at rallies in Washington, D.C., that included individuals wearing clothing consistent with the “Proud Boys.”

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At some point after the incident at the Capitol had ended, the affidavit in support of criminal complaint alleges, Pezzola bragged about breaking the windows to the Capitol with a Capitol Police shield.  The affidavit also alleges that Pezzola and others stated that they would have killed anyone they got their hands on, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Michael Pence.  The affidavit alleges that, in the days after the event, members of the group said that the group would return to Washington, D.C., and kill every single “m-fer” they could.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Buffalo Field Office, Albany Field Office, and Washington Field Office.

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The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

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The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.