WASHINGTON — An Ohio man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His 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 2020 presidential election.
Michael Picciuto, 25, of Kirtland, Ohio, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of civil disorder and destruction or injury to buildings or property in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction.
In addition to the felonies, Picciuto is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, act of physical violence on Capitol grounds, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
Picciuto was arrested this morning by the FBI in Kirtland, Ohio and will make his initial appearance in the Northern District of Ohio.
According to court documents, Picciuto was identified on U.S. Capitol closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage entering the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 2:33 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, through the Upper West Terrace Door and carrying an American flag. After entering, Picciuto headed toward the Rotunda and entered into a hallway on the second floor on the Senate side of the Capitol.
Picciuto is captured on CCTV footage and open-source video overrunning one police line near the Old Senate Chamber, until his progress was halted by a line of police officers who attempted to keep rioters from moving deeper into the building. In police body-worn camera footage, Picciuto can be seen falling to the ground and then standing up again. Rather than retreat, Picciuto stood at the front of a line of rioters that faced off with police and resisted police efforts to clear the hallway. After a standoff, the rioters and police got into a physical scuffle. Police sprayed rioters with repellent, which dispersed the crowd. Picciuto then continued to resist police efforts to clear hallways and was eventually directed by police into the Rotunda at approximately 3:04 p.m. Picciuto remained in the Rotunda until approximately 3:12 p.m., when he exited the U.S. Capitol through the Rotunda Door on the east side.
After exiting the building, Picciuto remained within the restricted perimeter of the U.S. Capitol grounds on the north side. Here, police began physically moving rioters from the west side of the Capitol to the northeast side in an attempt to push rioters further away from the Capitol building. At approximately 4:39 p.m., Picciuto resisted the officers' attempts to clear rioters from the area and made physical contact with at least one officer. Another rioter separated Picciuto from the officer, and Picciuto soon after challenged the officer to a physical fight, yelling expletives and stating, "Take it off, b—Take the f— armor off.”
Picciuto later walked to the Northeast Lawn Media Pen, where rioters had chased away members of the news media. At approximately 4:52 p.m., Picciuto can be seen breaking apart, pouring water, and stomping on media equipment belonging to the Associated Press.
This 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 Northern District of Ohio.
This case is being investigated by the FBI's Cleveland and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 36 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,265 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.