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Two men were found guilty today of multiple felony charges, including assaulting law enforcement officers, related to their actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Their 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.
Steven Cappuccio, 53, of Universal City, Texas, and Federico Guillermo Klein, 45, of Falls Church, Virginia, were found guilty of 14 felony charges. The verdict followed a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden.
Steven Cappuccio was convicted of six felony charges, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and aiding and abetting; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon; robbery and aiding and abetting; civil disorder; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or building.
Federico Klein was convicted of eight felony charges, including six counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and aiding and abetting; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; and civil disorder. Klein was also convicted of misdemeanor offenses of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or building.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Cappuccio and Klein were among the group of rioters who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol grounds. After joining a mob of rioters that overwhelmed the police lines on the west front Capitol grounds, Cappuccio and Klein separately converged at the front of the mob in the tunnel entrance of the lower west terrace.
Court documents state that Klein entered the tunnel at approximately 2:43 p.m. and began to yell at law enforcement officers, ignored commands to leave, and attempted to grab a police officer riot shield. Klein then used both of his arms and body to forcibly push against police. As police attempted to close a door to the tunnel, Klein used a stole police riot shield as a wedge to thwart police from closing the door.
Meanwhile, at approximately 3:06 p.m., defendant Cappuccio approached the entrance to the tunnel, recording video on his phone of the scene outside the Capitol. Cappuccio entered the tunnel and immediately joined the push against the police line. A short while later, Cappuccio and Klein joined with other rioters in a concerted “heave-ho” push against the police line in the tunnel. During the “heave-ho” push, a police officer became pinned between the metal doors in the tunnel and a shield held by a co-defendant. Cappuccio saw this and then forcefully yanked the gas mask away from the officer’s face in hard quick movements, causing the officer’s head and neck to be yanked violently in various directions.
As he viciously ripped off the police officer’s gas mask, Cappuccio appeared to say, “How do you like me now, fucker?!” Cappuccio then took the officer’s riot baton out of his hands and used the baton to strike the officer in the face. Cappuccio later exited the tunnel, looked to the crowd, and pumped his fist into the air victoriously.
As Cappuccio left the tunnel, court records say that Klein remained. Klein then participated in another “heave-ho” push against police and actively resisted the police officers’ efforts to move him out of the tunnel by aggressively pushing a stolen riot shield against the police line and using the weight of his body to press forward. Klein was finally pushed out of the tunnel at approximately 3:19 p.m. and remained near the front of the mob until approximately 4:10 p.m., constantly pushing into the police line using a stolen riot shield.
Cappuccio and Klein were charged in a superseding indictment along with seven other co-defendants in December 2021. Cappuccio is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 19, 2023, and Klein is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3, 2023.
They face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, and the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police, with significant assistance provided by the FBI’s Cincinnati and San Antonio Field Offices.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 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