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Pa. man indicted for assaulting police during Jan. 6 Capitol attack

Pa. man indicted for assaulting police during Jan. 6 Capitol attack
Ryan Samsel has been charged in a seven-count indictment with assaulting a police officer during the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Department

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors on Thursday said a Pennsylvania man has been indicted for assaulting a Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol building, causing her to lose consciousness and suffer a concussion.

The Justice Department said in a statement Thursday that Ryan Samsel, 37, was charged a day prior by a grand jury in a seven-count indictment that accuses the Levittown resident of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, among other offenses.

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The Statement of Facts in the case said Samsel was captured committing the alleged offenses in video footage along with thousands of others who made up the mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters who stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in order the prevent Joe Biden from being certified as the 46th president of the United States.

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The document states that Samsel was observed in the footage walking toward barricades manned by uniformed Capitol Police officers protecting the Capitol building, which was in session, and "immediately became confrontational."

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Samsel, who then removed his jacket and placed his red hat on backward in a manner suggesting he "was preparing for a physical altercation," pulled on the barricades until the crowd had pushed it upon a Capitol Police officer identified in the document as O-1, who hit her head on the stairs behind her, causing her to lose consciousness.

Samsel picked up the officer, who recalled him telling her "We don't have to hurt you, why are you standing in our way?" before other officers took her from her alleged assailant toward the West Terrance of the Capitol building. Later while conducting an arrest, O-1 collapsed and was transported to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion.

Video footage during the siege also captured Samsel confronting police on the West Terrace of the building where he was seen pulling a riot shield from a uniformed officer, the document said.

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The FBI identified Samsel after running his depiction through several law enforcement databases, which revealed a possible match.

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A criminal history check discovered that Samsel was on parole at the time of the siege and was wanted in Riverside, New Jersey, on a non-extraditable warrant from 2019.

Samsel has been accused of attacking people at least six times prior to Jan. 6 with his victims usually being women, according to federal prosecutors, The Washington Post reported.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he was convicted two years before the Capitol attack for holding a woman against her will for five hours and choking her until she lost consciousness.

Before that he pled guilty to running a woman off the road over a dispute about $60.

Samsel was arrested on Jan. 30, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and later transported to Washington, D.C., where he has been held without bond.

While in jail, Samsel's defense lodged a motion to revoke his detention order, stating he was assaulted in March while imprisoned, causing him to suffer "serious medical injuries and aggravated a re-existing medical condition."

His defense said he should be released because doing so would not lessen the likelihood of him appearing at future proceedings nor would it impact the safety of the community.

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Federal prosecutors argued against his release, stating Samsel was not only the first person to emerge from the crowd to confront police officers at the barricade but he later bragged about how he led them -- all while being on parole.

They also said he has an extensive history of violence,

"Samsel's assault on O-1 is just the latest in a string of prior assaultive offenses, dating back all the way to 2006," they said in a document. "The facts underlying these other convictions are extremely disturbing. They show a pattern of Samsel choking and beating women to the point of loss of consciousness, of many hospital visits for many victims, of chipped and missing teeth and of Samsel even breaking into one victim's home multiples times to assault her."

More than 570 people have been arrested in connection to the January Capitol breach, including some 170 charged with assaulting law enforcement, the Justice Department said.

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