A Manchester, Vermont, man has been arrested on accusations that he clashed with police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
William Nichols, 41, was identified through a number of open-source videos and police body-camera images that showed him struggling with police officers outside the Capitol building, prosecutors said.
According to court papers, Nichols is seen in the footage engaging in “violent interactions” with police officers. He is seen “wielding a large circular shield” to hit officers, in one case causing an officer to lose his balance, an affidavit states. In another instance, he is seen using the shield to hit and push several officers, it says.
Defense attorney Michael Desautels said his office represented Nichols for the preliminary proceedings in Vermont, but he did not know who would be representing him in Washington. He did not comment about the specifics of the case. Nichols was arrested in Vermont on Wednesday and appeared in federal court in Rutland, where he was released.
He faces charges including assaulting, resisting or impeding officers as well as civil disorder.
Nichols is among nearly 1,000 people across the U.S. who have been charged with federal crimes in the Capitol attack.
Federal prosecutors also announced charges Wednesday against men from Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Joseph Pavlik, 65, of Chicago, whom authorities believe is affiliated with a militia group called “B Squad,” was arrested Tuesday on charges including obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, according to prosecutors.
Dustin Sargent, 30, of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, was also arrested on Wednesday on charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers as well as obstruction of an official proceeding.
Charges brought against rioters have ranged from misdemeanor offenses for those who entered the Capitol illegally but didn’t cause damage or assault any officers to felony seditious conspiracy for members of far-right extremist groups accused of plotting to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
As of early last month, at least 538 cases had been resolved through guilty pleas, trials, dismissals or the defendant’s death, according to an Associated Press review of court records.
Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report from Boston.