By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prosecutors have filed felony charges against a Rhode Island man who investigators allege used a wooden table leg to attack police guarding the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, according to unsealed court papers.
In an 11-page statement of facts, an unnamed Federal Bureau of Investigation agent based in Boston said video footage taken during the riot showed Timothy Desjardins, 35, of Providence, “assaulting multiple law enforcement officers” in a U.S. Capitol tunnel using what “appears to be a broken wooden table leg.”
At the time, the FBI said, police guarding the Capitol were being attacked by rioters who were surging into the tunnel and throwing objects including a baton and a table.
Prosecutors filed multiple riot-related felony charges against Desjardins, a federal official said. Charges include engaging in violence in a restricted building, civil disorder and assaulting police with a dangerous weapon.
The FBI said that Desjardins’ alleged participation in the riot was corroborated when, the morning after the riot, Washington police recovered a backpack which investigators believe Desjardins was wearing during the riot.
The FBI said that inside the backpack was a Desjardins identification card, two walkie-talkies and three axes.
Prosecutors said Desjardins is presently held in custody in Rhode Island on unrelated criminal charges. The Providence Journal newspaper reported that Desjardins had allegedly engaged in an hours-long armed standoff with Providence police on Nov. 11 in a barbershop he owns.
Nearly 700 people have been charged with participating in the Jan. 6 riot, and around 210 people have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers or employees during the attack.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)