South Carolina Man Arrested on Felony Charges For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

South Carolina Man Arrested on Felony Charges  For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Accused of Assaulting Officers With Chemical Irritant

            WASHINGTON — A South Carolina man has been arrested on felony charges, including assaulting a law enforcement officer, for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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.

            Thomas Andrew Casselman, 29, of Walhalla, South Carolina, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm on Capitol grounds or buildings, all felonies, act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol building. He was arrested this morning in Walhalla and made his initial appearance in the District of South Carolina before Magistrate Judge Kevin McDonald.

            According to court documents, Casselman is seen in images from Jan. 6, 2021, published widely, wearing a dark grey cap with design on the front, black face mask, American flag gaiter or scarf around the neck, black jacket, and backpack while in the crowd on the west side of the Capitol Building. Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage from D.C. Metropolitan Police officers as well as open-source video footage show Casselman spraying law enforcement officers with an orange colored spray, presumed to be a chemical irritant, specifically, bear spray. A victim of the use of this chemical irritant also described the spray as bear spray.

            This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Columbia, South Carolina Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Casselman as #363 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

            A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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