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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

New Jersey Man Arrested for Repeated Assaults on Multiple Law Enforcement Officers During U.S. Capitol Breach

Christopher Quaglin Attacked USCP and MPD Officers, Sprayed Them with Chemical Irritant, and Stole their Riot Shields

Note: A full copy of the affidavit in support can be viewed here.

WASHINGTON — Today, a New Jersey man was arrested for assaulting several U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers, as well as other crimes, during the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6 that disrupted a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress in the process of affirming Presidential election results.

Christopher Joseph Quaglin, 35, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, was charged by criminal complaint with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees; civil disorder; and obstruction of an official proceeding. He made his initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

According to court documents and publicly available video, Quaglin was seen repeatedly assaulting multiple law enforcement officers guarding and protecting the Capitol from rioters. Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage shows Quaglin, wearing protective gear including a helmet and gas mask, engaging violently and disruptively with police. As alleged, in the early afternoon around 1:36 p.m., Quaglin was captured on video approaching the police line and verbally engaging with MPD officers, shouting, “You don’t want this fight. You do not want this f****** fight. You are on the wrong f****** side.”

As described in charging documents, additional USCP surveillance video shows Quaglin pointing at and shoving a USCP officer on the Lower West Terrace while appearing increasingly agitated. Quaglin can be seen grabbing and pushing the officer by the neck before working with other rioters to rip one of the barrier fences out of the hands of MPD officers. Around 2:34 p.m., BWC footage captured Quaglin lunging at an officer and pushing him down. As a result, several officers dropped their shields, which Quaglin and other rioters stole and passed back into the crowd.

At 3:03 p.m., Quaglin entered the Lower West Terrace tunnel to gain entry into the Capitol. According to video footage, Quaglin visibly pushed his way to the front of a large crowd and continued attempting to push past police guarding the Lower West Terrace exterior doors. For the 15 minutes that followed, Quaglin attacked police officers with the stolen riot shield and sprayed them with a chemical irritant also called OC spray. At 3:06 p.m., Quaglin sprayed the chemical irritant at MPD and USCP officers, and again, at 3:07 p.m., directly into the face of an MPD officer who was not wearing a face shield or gas mask. He can later be seen at the front of the line pushing up against the same MPD Officer he sprayed with the chemical irritant, as the crowd yells “heave ho” and puts their collective mass behind Quaglin and others. Quaglin remained on the front-line of rioters impeding police until approximately 3:18 p.m. when he was pushed out of the tunnel with other rioters.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, who listed Quaglin as #58 on their seeking information photos. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the FBI-Newark Field Office. 

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 in a court of law.

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

Updated April 7, 2021