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New Jersey man allegedly assaulted several officers during Capitol riot and used ‘chemical irritant’

A man who allegedly assaulted officers during the Capitol riot, including spraying at least one law enforcement officer with an irritant, was arrested Wednesday on several counts relating to the January crowd of supporters of Donald Trump.

Christopher Joseph Quaglin of New Jersey is charged with “repeatedly assaulting multiple law enforcement officers” based on video evidence described in a probable cause affidavit signed by an FBI agent. He faces charges of civil unrest, obstruction of proceedings and assault, resistance or obstruction to certain officers or employees, according to the justice ministry.

At approximately 1:36 p.m., Quaglin is seen in body-worn camera footage in a “Make America Great Again” jacket, black helmet and gas mask at a fence guarded by officers outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6.

“You’re on the wrong side,” Quaglin told the fence officers, according to the video. “You’re going to bring an f —— gun, I’m going to bring an f —— gun.” You wait!”

Seconds later, Quaglin begins to shake and push the fence, the affidavit states. He was reportedly seen about an hour later in surveillance footage around the Lower West Terrace, pushing several officers from the United States Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police departments.

As officers in the Lower West Terrace area began to abandon their shields and retreat, Quaglin joined others in passing shields among the crowd and rushing at the officers, according to the affidavit. Quaglin and other rioters then made their way to the tunnel leading to Lower West Terrace, where officers used their bodies to prevent the rioters from entering, the video showed.

It was in the tunnel where Quaglin sprayed an officer, according to YouTube footage examined by the FBI. The footage showed Quaglin was targeting “a chemical irritant directly on the face of an MPD officer, who does not have a face shield or gas mask to protect him,” the affidavit reads.

It appeared that the spray used was an MK-9 OC defense spray commonly sold online, based on information in the affidavit.

The rioters then began to push their bodies towards the line of officers defending the gates, shouting “heave ho” as they rushed together in a coordinated effort to break through the gates of Lower West Terrace. Quaglin was at the front of that group until the officers could finally fend off the crowd, according to the affidavit.

The FBI examined social media posts owned by Quaglin before and after the riot, in particular a Facebook account under the “vanity name” of “Chris Trump,” after receiving anonymous intelligence. In one video, a man identified as Quaglin described what he was wearing “when you see the pictures”, according to the pictures.

“It was a good time, I had bumps and bruises,” Quaglin said in one of the videos.

A witness who contacted the FBI after seeing the image of Quaglin released by the agency for more information said they had known Quaglin for years. They confirmed that the “Chris Trump” in the Facebook Live videos was Quaglin and noted that Quaglin was “frequently banned for inflammatory posts online.”

The posts and social media posts between November and January examined by the FBI and owned by Quaglin included numerous photos of weapons, claims “waiting for a war” and complaints about the electoral loss of Trump in 2020, according to the affidavit.

“This is my basement weapons room,” Quaglin said in a post, which included a photo of weapons and body armor. “I’ve been planning this ever since f —— Bush left office and Obama arrived.”

Quaglin first appeared in federal court on Wednesday. Court records were not immediately available to him and it is not known whether he retained the services of a lawyer. Quaglin’s public records did not include a phone number or email address.

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