WASHINGTON — Attorneys representing Dominic Pezzola have filed a new motion and have asked a judge to release the alleged Proud Boy before trial on bond.
Two different judges have already denied Pezzola bond, although he is now represented by new legal counsel and a new strategy.
Prosecutors referenced Pezzola — a 43-year-old flooring contractor from Rochester, New York — by name 12 times during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. A video clip of him using a stolen police riot shield to bash in a window at the U.S. Capitol building during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was played repeatedly during the trial and on television news. In a hearing, a federal judge called him “the tip of the spear that pierced the United States Capitol.”
In an exclusive interview with WUSA9 in June, Pezzola’s family and new attorneys claim Pezzola has received inhumane treatment at the D.C. Jail and that the conditions are hampering his right to a full legal defense guaranteed under the constitution.
Pezzola’s attorneys, Marty Tankleff and Steven Metcalf, also claim in their 230-page legal brief that what their client is accused of doing is no different than those who participated in social justice protests.
The first page of the motion for bond cites Dostoyevsky and Ghandi. The motion also says, “Dominic isn’t charged with murder, and individuals around this Country, charged with more serious crimes are granted bail.”
Pezzola was arrested in New York on Jan.15 and indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts — among them conspiracy, assaulting a federal officer and destruction of government property — along with another man, 31-year-old William Pepe. In April, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment adding a third co-defendant, 33-year-old Matthew Greene. All three men are accused of being affiliated with the New York chapter of the Proud Boys. In late December, Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio posted a group photo with the caption “Lords of War” — a photo that featured Pezzola prominently.
“I’m not angry with him. I’m not. I miss him,” said Lisa Magee, Pezzola’s girlfriend of 20 years and mother of his two children in her interview with WUSA9, and first public comments since Pezzola’s arrest.
Magee is a former social worker who — in a twist of irony she hasn’t missed — used to work in pretrial services. She and Pezzola have been partners since they met 20 years ago at a birthday party. Their daughters are 20-year-old Maria and 16-year-old Angelina. Up until his arrest, Pezzola was the family’s only breadwinner.
“He should be home. Especially pretrial,” Magee said. “He’s not been convicted of any crime. But yet, he sits in a cell, locked down for 23 hours a day. He’s not allowed to have a haircut. He’s not allowed to shave. He gets nail clippers brought to him once a month that’s brought from person to person to person. Not even cleaned in between.”
“It was a broken window,” Magee said. “Everywhere in the United States of America, breaking a window is a criminal mischief charge. Anybody anywhere that broke a window wouldn’t even likely be arrested. They would be given an appearance ticket.”
Pezzola is charged with much more than breaking a window. The indictments against him allege he and other Proud Boys conspired to travel to D.C. to disrupt the certification of Electoral Ballots on Jan. 6, and that as part of that conspiracy they used an encrypted radio channel and made plans to obscure their identities.
During the riot, federal prosecutors say Pezzola and other Proud Boys stormed past police lines and fallen barricades and, in Pezzola’s case, ripped a riot shield from a Capitol Police officer’s hands.
They say Pezzola threatened police, yelling at them, “We ain’t stopping. You think Antifa’s [expletive] bad, just you wait!”
In the now infamous video, Pezzola can be seen repeatedly smashing a window with a riot shield until it breaks — allowing himself and other rioters to enter the building. Once inside, prosecutors say Pezzola posted a video of himself smoking a victory cigar. In one of the orders denying his release, a federal judge noted that Pezzola told investigators he smoked the cigar because “he considered the objective achieved, stopping the certification of the election pursuant to the instructions of the then President.”
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