Bucks County man charged with officer assault at US Capitol
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Bucks County, Pennsylvania, man has been charged with assaulting a federal officer after federal investigators say he pushed over a fence and knocked an officer to the ground during the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol in early January.
Charges including assaulting an officer, obstructing an officer during their official duties and obstructing an official proceeding were filed against Ryan Samsel late last week, according to federal court documents that were unsealed early Monday. No attorney information was listed for Samsel and a number listed in his name had been disconnected.
Philadelphia FBI office spokesperson Carrie Adamowski confirmed that Samsel was arrested Saturday by a joint FBI and local task force. She said as of Monday afternoon, he was being detained at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia awaiting his initial appearance.
Courts were closed Monday in Philadelphia because of the weather, and it was unclear from court records if Samsel would have an initial appearance in Magistrate Court on Tuesday.
More than 160 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the siege. All of those cases so far are being handled out of Washington after initial appearances.
Records showed Samsel is on parole for an assault conviction from 2016 in Pennsylvania, and that there is a separate warrant for his arrest related to an alleged 2019 assault in New Jersey.
According to the criminal complaint, Samsel can be seen in videos from the Capitol approaching a reinforced fence being secured by Capitol police officers. He takes off his jacket, turns his hat backwards and takes an aggressive posture before he and several other protesters began pushing and pulling on the barrier, authorities allege.
A female officer was knocked to the ground and struck her head when the fence fell. That officer, who was not named, told investigators that Samsel said, “We don’t have to hurt you. Why are you standing in our way?” The officer was later taken to the hospital for treatment after she blacked out.
Investigators said in the charging documents that Samsel can be seen on video a short time later during an altercation with another group of officers in riot gear, trying to pry a riot shield away from one of them.
A federal agent identified Samsel using a law enforcement database. A review of Samsel’s cellphone data showed he traveled to Washington on Jan. 6, according to the court documents.