News & Politics

Guns, Brass Knuckles, Homemade Napalm: Read Some of the Documents From Arrests After the Capitol Riot

Photograph by Evy Mages

For anyone following last Wednesday’s riot at the US Capitol, George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has established an indispensable database of court records related to the event, and the collection is sure to grow. Here are some eyebrow-raising quotes from the documents so far.

From documents for Christopher Alberts of Maryland, who is accused of carrying a weapon on the Capitol grounds:

Around 7:20 PM on January 6, DC police officer Dallan Haynes writes, he was helping to clear the area in front of the Capitol an hour and a half after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s curfew. Haynes says he was escorting people past a police line when:

As I approached ALBERTS from his rear, I noticed a bulge on ALBERTS’ right hip. Based on my training and experience, I recognized the bulge was consistent with that of a hand gun. … ALBERTS was also wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying a backpack. At that point, I told two MPD officers next to him that ALBERTS had a firearm on his person. ALBERTS, apparently hearing that, immediately tried to flee, but I was able to detain him with the help of two other officers. A black Taurus G2C 9mm (Serial#AAL085515) was recovered from D-1’s right hip. Additionally, a separate magazine was located on D-1’s left hip. Both the gun and the spare magazine were in held in two separate holsters. The handgun had one round in the chamber with a twelve round capacity magazine filled with twelve rounds; the spare magazine also had a twelve round capacity and was filled with twelve rounds. MPD Officers also seized a gas-mask from the defendant’s person as well as the defendant’s backpack containing a pocket- knife, one packaged military meal-ready to eat (MRE), and one first-aid medical kit.

From documents regarding David A. Blair of Maryland, who is accused of assaulting a law-enforcement officer: 

[The suspect] was seen with a “lacrosse type stick hitting officers” … [Blair] noted “[I was] being an idiot, pumped up and didn’t move back. Accept everything. I’m sorry, I got hit four times, I had a knife in my bag because I was scared of ANTIFA jumping me on the way back.”

From documents for Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, the “QAnon Shaman“:

Media coverage of these events showed one of the rioters who entered the Capitol building dressed in horns, a bearskin headdress, red, white and blue face paint, shirtless, and tan pants. This individual carried a spear, approximately 6 feet in length, with an American flag tied just below the blade. … Your affiant has confirmed this identification of CHANSLEY. … on January 7, 2021, CHANSLEY called in to the Washington Field Office of the FBI, to voluntarily speak with law enforcement. Your affiant and an FBI agent spoke on the phone with CHANSLEY, who confirmed that he was the male in the face paint and headdress in the Vice President’s chair in the Senate. CHANSLEY stated that he came as a part of a group effort, with other “patriots” from Arizona, at the request of the President that all “patriots” come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.

From documents about Lonnie Coffman of Alabama, who is accused of bringing homemade napalm to DC:

Before the invasion of the Capitol, Capitol Police responded to reports of explosive devices at the DNC and at the Republican Club, both on Capitol Hill. There…

two United States Capitol Police officers observed the handle of what appeared to be a firearm on the front right passenger seat of a red GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck … officers proceeded to search the rest of the pickup truck, including the bed of the truck, which was secured under a fabric top. During the search of the cab of the truck, officers recovered, among other things, one M4 Carbine assault rifle along with rifle magazines loaded with ammunition. … In addition, officers recovered the following items in the bed of the pickup truck in close proximity to one another: (i) eleven mason jars containing an unknown liquid with a golf tee in the top of each jar, (ii) cloth rags, and (iii) lighters. … At approximately 6:30 p.m., a blue sedan with a female driver and a male front passenger, approached law enforcement officers in the 400 block of First Street, Southeast. … Upon exiting the vehicle, the officers asked the male passenger if he had any weapons on his person, and he responded that he had a gun in his right front pants pocket. The officers then detained the male passenger—later confirmed to be Lonnie L. COFFMAN—and officers conducted a search of the right pocket which revealed a handgun, later fully identified as a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun with serial number LFN2577, and a set of GMC vehicle keys. After securing the 9mm Smith & Wesson, officers conducted a further search of COFFMAN and recovered a 22 caliber derringer style handgun from his front left pocket along with another set of GMC vehicle keys. … COFFMAN stated that the mason jars contained “melted Styrofoam and gasoline.” An explosive enforcement officer with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives has advised that melted Styrofoam and gasoline are an explosive mixture that has the effect of napalm insofar as it causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits upon detonation.

From documents regarding Matthew Ross Council of Florida, who’s accused of unlawful entry:

While in custody, but prior to being advised of his Miranda rights, COUNCIL spontaneously expressed remorse about pushing the officer and indicated that he did not intend to injure her.

From documents regarding Derrick Evans, a now-former West Virginia legislator:

Approximately 3 minutes and 56 seconds into the video, EVANS shouts, “We’re in, we’re in! Derrick EVANS is in the Capitol” … Approximately 4 minutes and 11 seconds into the video, EVANS approachers a U.S. Capitol Police officer and appears to fist-bump him while stating, “We still respect you, all right?”

From documents about Adam Johnson, aka “Via Getty,” of Florida: 

A search of open sources revealed an image credited to Getty Images, a visual media company, showing an unknown individual (PERSON 1) appearing to carry the lectern throughout the U.S. Capitol building … Additional open source research revealed an article published by the Sarasota Herald- Tribune [that] contained another image of what appeared to be PERSON 1 … posing by a sign that read “Closed to all tours” (see Figure 2). The caption accompanying the photograph, seemingly in response to the sign, says “No.”

From documents about Mark Jefferson Leffingwell

I attempted to form a barrier with other officers to stop or deter additional individuals from entering the Capitol building. In the course of this effort and while inside the Capitol building, I encountered an adult male who later identified himself to me as Mark Jefferson LEFFINGWELL. LEFFINGWELL attempted to push past me and other officers. When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, LEFFINGWELL punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest. … While in custody, but prior to being advised of his Miranda rights, LEFFINGWELL spontaneously apologized for striking the officer. When told that the officer who LEFFINGWELL had struck was me, LEFFINGWELL apologized to me for striking me.

From documents about Eric Gavelek Munchel of Tennessee, one of the purported “zip-tie guys“: 

Law enforcement interviewed MUNCHEL and identified that he was wearing camouflage pants wearing a black holster containing what appeared to be a handgun. Law enforcement interviewed MUNCHEL and identified that he was carrying a black and yellow “Taser Pulse” taser that emits electrical shock. MUNCHEL stated that he possessed the the taser for self-protection as he had participated in the pro-Trump rally.

From documents for Nicholas R. Ochs of Hawaii, founder of the Hawaiian chapter of the Proud Boys

On January 6, at 4:13 p.m., Nicholas “Nick” Robert Ochs, a resident of Hawaii, posted a photograph to his Twitter account, @OchsForHawaii, with the caption “Hello from the Capital lol,” which appears to depict OCHS and another individual smoking cigarettes inside the Capitol … OCHS later admitted to a CNN reporter that he entered the Capitol.

From documents regarding Joshua Pruitt:

After PRUITT was arrested and while being processed at the Mass Processing Center, MPD Investigator Emma Hicks noticed that PRUITT appeared to be an individual that Investigator Hicks observed in an open source image (currently on The Washington Post website) unlawfully entering the United States Capitol earlier in the day. … During the interview, PRUITT identified himself as the person depicted in the photograph.

From documents regarding James Sinclair of Pennsylvania, who is not accused of entering the Capitol:

Search incident to arrest yielded a pair of black metal knuckles … [defendant stated he] brought the brass knuckles with him to D.C. for his protection. Defendant added that he had traveled to D.C. from Philadelphia for the Trump rally that he attended earlier in the day. Defendant advised he responded to Capitol grounds but did not make entry inside and responded back to his hotel. Defendant had two Cranberry Vodkas, 1 hour prior to his arrest.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.