Washington D.C. Student Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach
Defendant Assaulted Officers With an Electro-Shock Device
WASHINGTON – A Florida man, who in January 2021 attended school in Washington, D.C., was found guilty in the District of Columbia today of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 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 presidential election.
Vitali GossJankowski, 34, a former student at Washington D.C.’s Gallaudet University was found guilty today of multiple felonies for his role in disrupting a joint session of the United States Congress in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes following the 2020 Presidential election.
GossJankowski was convicted by a jury of obstructing, impeding, or interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder, corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding before Congress, forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, or interfering with a law enforcement officer on account of his official duties. GossJankowski was also convicted of misdemeanor offenses related to knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, knowingly disrupting the orderly conduct of Government business in a restricted building or grounds, and knowingly engaging in disruptive or disorder conduct inside a Capitol Building or on Capitol Grounds.
According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, GossJankowski travelled from the Ellipse to the United States Capitol, making his way into the tunnel leading to the Lower West Terrace.
While moving from the West Front of the Capitol to the Upper West Terrace, GossJankowski was able to observe the rioters pushing their way pass a line of officers before becoming one of the first individuals to enter through the Lower West Terrace outer door. GossJankowski stood near other rioters as they used poles to strike a line of officers attempting to stop rioters from entering the building and observed other rioters breaking a glass door with a “Members Entrance Only” sign embedded within it. GossJankowski was captured on surveillance cameras, officer body-worn cameras, and other rioter’s cell phone videos interfering with officers by pushing them, spitting at them, and pulling at their protective shields. GossJankowski also joining other rioters by passing the officer’s protective shields away from the officers, joining a concerted effort to push against the officers’ line, and beckoning for more rioters to enter into the tunnel against the officers.
Later, when two law enforcement officers were pulled into the crowd, GossJankowski pushed his way through the crowd just outside the tunnel and grabbed an officer with the United States Capitol Police by his helmet. GossJankowski pulled the officer close and reached toward the officer with an unrecovered device GossJankowski would later call a taser. The officer suffered no additional harm and would later be escorted out of the crowd where he then returned to the Capitol to continue battling rioters attempting to enter the building.
The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office, with valuable assistance provided by the Metropolitan Police Department of the United States Capitol Police.
In the 26 months since January 6, 2021, more than 999 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, for crimes related to the breach of the United State Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains open.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.