Connecticut man accused of climbing atop crowd of Jan. 6 rioters and assaulting police

Jul 17, 2023, 2:20 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man is accused of climbing atop a crowd of rioters during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and striking police officers in the head and face with a baton, his fists and a wooden pole.

Richard Markey, 38, of Wolcott, faces charges of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon, obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, and disorderly or disruptive conduct, as well as other federal crimes. He appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

A voice message and a text were left seeking comment with his attorney, Robert M. Frost Jr.

Federal prosecutors say Markey was among a crowd of rioters that attempted to breach a line of police in an exterior archway, or tunnel, leading to an exterior door of the Capitol. Surveillance footage from the scene shows a man later identified as Markey “abruptly emerging from the riotous mob near the south side of the tunnel, climbing on top of other rioters, and holding what appears to be a police baton,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Video footage then shows Markey “pushing himself toward the police line, raising the baton, and striking at law enforcement,” federal prosecutors said. After losing the baton during the melee, Markey continued to strike at police with his fists, according to court documents.

Markey is also accused of later pulling a wooden pole away from a police officer and using it to strike at police with such force that it snapped. He is also accused of pulling, pushing and kicking at police officers’ protective shields while shouting “oath breaker.”

Court documents indicate Markey was initially identified by an anonymous tip sent to the FBI. His identity was later confirmed by his employer.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for alleged crimes related to the Capitol breach, according to officials. The mob was trying to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results for Democrat Joe Biden over incumbent Republican Donald Trump, authorities have said.

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Connecticut man accused of climbing atop crowd of Jan. 6 rioters and assaulting police