Federal prosecutors say Daniel Caldwell, 49, used chemical spray against a line of officers who were preventing rioters from entering the Capitol. It happened amid a massive melee with police, who used batons and pepper spray to repel the crowd, according to images of the incident which were cited in court documents.
Hours after the riot, Caldwell opened up about the incident in a video posted to the far-right social media site Speak, according to prosecutors. The clip was one of hundreds of videos released later by ProPublica.
“They sprayed us with pepper spray. They continued to spray. I was like, ‘Dude, do it again and we’ll spray you back.’ And he did. And I sprayed back, I got 15, ”Caldwell said in the video.
He has been charged with four felonies: assaulting federal agents, obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. A lawyer is not listed for Caldwell in the court’s public registry and he has not had a chance to plead.
A message sent to Caldwell’s LinkedIn profile on Saturday did not receive a response.
The use of chemical sprays was the focus of the investigation into the death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. CNN reported that prosecutors believe he was attacked with bear spray, which contributed to his death a day later. There is no known connection in court documents or elsewhere between Sicknick’s death and the charges against Caldwell.
Chemical spray was one of the many weapons used by rioters during the January 6 uprising. According to a CNN analysis, other weapons confiscated or used in or around the Capitol that day include firearms, a metal baseball bat, a fire extinguisher, a wooden club, a spear, a stun gun, crutches, a flag pole, stolen police shields, a wooden beam, a hockey stick and knives.