Texas and Ohio Men Arrested for Assault on Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Superseding Indictment Identifies Two Additional Defendants in Egregious, Nine-Person Case Involving Assault on Police
A Texas man and Ohio man were arrested last week for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Steven Cappuccio, 52, of Universal City, Texas, and David Mehaffie, 62, of Kettering, Ohio, are charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, obstruction of an official proceeding and civil disorder, among other charges. Cappuccio is additionally charged with robbery and aiding and abetting, and disorderly and disruptive conduct on restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon. Cappuccio was arrested on Aug. 10 and made his initial court appearance in the Western District of Texas the next day. Mehaffie was arrested on Aug. 13 and made his initial court appearance in Southern District of Ohio the same day.
According to court documents unsealed today, Cappuccio was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 where he was captured on body-worn camera (BWC) footage and publicly available video on the lower west terrace. As depicted in the videos, Cappuccio joined in an effort to push past officers guarding the lower west terrace doors inside the tunnel and violently ripped off the mask of an officer pinned against the doors by other rioters. Cappuccio can be seen grabbing the officer’s mask and yanking on it with what appears to be a significant amount of force. Portions of the events were filmed by another rioter inside the tunnel who has since been arrested. Cappuccio is further seen with a baton as he pulled on the officer’s mask. Footage of this event shows the officer crushed in between a doorway and riot shield, without his gas mask, while screaming and yelling for help with his mouth bloodied.
According to court documents, Mehaffie was also part of the crowd on the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. In video obtained by law enforcement, Mehaffie can be seen walking up the exterior terrace stairs and into the tunnel as part of the first group of individuals to attempt to breach the Capitol through that entrance. As depicted in BWC footage, Mehaffie is seen at approximately 2:42 p.m. standing outside the first set of double doors repeatedly using his fist to pound on the unbroken glass. Moments later, another rioter used a makeshift weapon to break the glass window out of the door that Mehaffie was pounding. Mehaffie was the first to walk through the first set of doors and open a second set of doors where U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers had formed a human barricade to protect the entrance from being breached. As Mehaffie held the door open, other rioters began attacking the USCP and MPD officers with their hands and makeshift weapons, including flag poles.
At 2:51 p.m., Mehaffie exited the tunnel and climbed up on a raised platform at the tunnel entrance a minute later. As alleged, he stood above the crowd of rioters for approximately 26 minutes and helped to coordinate the mob’s actions by attempting to organize and direct individuals in and around the tunnel. Security footage captured him repeatedly using his arms to direct the mob and assisting members of the crowd as they passed items back and forth in the tunnel including riot shields stolen from law enforcement. Open-source video captured Mehaffie shouting, “If you are going in, get on this side!” while pointing to the right side of the tunnel. He additionally directed rioters to “push, push!”
At approximately 3:18 p.m., law enforcement successfully pushed the mob back out of the tunnel and onto the terrace. Mehaffie remained in the elevated position and physically resisted the officers’ efforts to move him. Mehaffie finally stepped down on to the terrace after multiple attempts by officers.
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 Offices for the Western District of Texas and the Southern District of Ohio.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Cappuccio as #123 and Mehaffie as #86 in its seeking information photos, as well as the MPD, with significant assistance provided by the USCP and FBI’s Cincinnati and San Antonio Field Offices.
In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 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 tips.fbi.gov.
The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.