By Mark Hosenball and Jan Wolfe WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. prosecutors have arrested a group of Florida residents and charged them with attacking police officers during the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents unsealed on Thursday. Four people from the Tampa Bay area — Olivia Pollock, Joshua Doolin, Joseph Hutchinson […]
Florida group charged with attack on police during U.S. Capitol riot
By Mark Hosenball and Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. prosecutors have arrested a group of Florida residents and charged them with attacking police officers during the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents unsealed on Thursday.
Four people from the Tampa Bay area — Olivia Pollock, Joshua Doolin, Joseph Hutchinson and Michael Perkins — were arrested on June 30, prosecutors said. A fifth person, Jonathan Daniel Pollock, has not been apprehended.
More than 535 people have been arrested and charged with joining the attack, an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s November election victory over then-President Donald Trump.
Justice Department lawyers said all of the defendants except Doolin attacked police officers on Jan. 6, at times using makeshift weapons like stolen riot shields and flagpoles.
Doolin was charged because he traveled with the group to Washington, but he is not accused of assaulting officers, prosecutors said. He allegedly breached the Capitol grounds with zip-tie handcuffs tucked in his belt and a riot-control chemical canister slung over his shoulder.
Prosecutors accused Perkins of thrusting a flagpole into the chest of a police officer. They charged Jonathan Pollock with dragging two police officers down a set of stairs and ramming a stolen police shield into an officer’s throat.
Jonathan Pollock’s sister, Olivia Pollock, repeatedly tried to rip away officers’ batons, prosecutors said.
Hutchinson allegedly kicked officers who were trying to prevent rioters from breaching the Capitol grounds.
Hutchinson, Doolin and Olivia Pollock entered not guilty pleas during Thursday’s court hearing and requested jury trials.
Prosecutors have sought to jail Perkins while he awaits trial, saying the severity of his actions make him a public danger. A judge has not yet ruled on the request.
Tuesday marked six months since the assault, which the FBI said has led to more than 165 arrests of people on charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers and other employees of the Capitol, including 50 charged with using a deadly weapon or seriously injuring a police officer.
Five people died during the violence and the following day, including a Capitol Police officer. Two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives, and more than 100 police officers were injured.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Jan Wolfe in Boston; Editing by Scott Malone, Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)