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Press Release

Former New York City Police Officer Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges, Including Impeding Law Enforcement Officers During Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

Defendant Became Known for Carrying Tamborine During Breach

            WASHINGTON – A New York woman was found guilty in the District of Columbia of felony and misdemeanor charges for her actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Her actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Sara Carpenter, 53, of Richmond Hill, New York was found guilty yesterday after a trial in U.S. District Court of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, both felonies, and five misdemeanors. U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg scheduled sentencing for July 14, 2023.

            According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Carpenter, who once served as a police officer in New York City, was captured on CCTV in the Capitol Rotunda and elsewhere. Carpenter confronted a line of police officers inside the Capitol, shook her tambourine and screamed “I’m a f**** animal,” pushed up against the officers who were guarding a hallway to the Senate chamber, and also slapped the arms of law enforcement officers who were trying to hold her back from further intruding into the Capitol. Despite being told to leave, and despite enduring the effects of chemical irritants, Carpenter remained in the Capitol for 34 minutes. Upon exiting, Carpenter stated: “The breach was made. It needs to calm down now. Congress needs to come out. They need to certify Trump as president. This is our house.” Before exiting, Carpenter raised and shook her tambourine above her head. .

            Carpenter was arrested on March 23, 2021, in Jamaica, New York.

            The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s New York Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Metropolitan Police Department. 

            In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 999 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Updated March 10, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-130