WASHINGTON — Two previously uncharged men from Ohio and Texas, along with former State Department-appointee Federico Klein, were added Thursday to the government’s case against rioters who assaulted police inside the Capitol tunnels on January 6.
An arrest warrant for David Mehaffie, of Kettering, Ohio, was issued last week, according to court documents unsealed in the Southern District of Ohio on Thursday. Mehaffie faces five counts in connection with the Capitol riot, including assaulting officers, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding – a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Mehaffie was one of three defendants added Thursday to the government’s case against those accused of some of the most sustained, violent assaults on police in the Capitol tunnels. Along with Mehaffie, the new indictment adds Steven Cappuccio, of Texas, and Federico Klein, a State Department-appointee of former President Donald Trump who was previously charged individually in the case.
With the addition of Mehaffie, Cappuccio and Klein on Thursday, nine men have now been indicted as co-defendants in the assault on officers in the Capitol tunnel that saw rioters using metal poles, chemical irritants, stolen riot shields and other improvised weapons to repeatedly attack police. It was also the location where D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed between the mob and a doorframe and had to be rescued by other officers.
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A week after the riot, Hodges told reporters he would have helped defend the Capitol for free even if it wasn’t his job.
“It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection and I’m glad I was in a position to help,” Hodge said. “We’ll do it as many times as it takes.”
The six other men indicted in the case are:
- Patrick McCaughey III
- Tristan Chandler Stevens
- David Lee Judd
- Christopher Joseph Quaglin
- Robert Morss
- Geoffrey William Sills
McCaughey, of Connecticut, is accused of using a stolen police riot shield to crush Hodges in the doorframe. Morss, a substitute teacher from Pennsylvania and former U.S. Army Ranger, is accused of assaulting police inside the tunnel and outside of the building, as well as entering a hideaway room that was subsequently trashed. The Justice Department alleges Morss “led an assault on police and organized support from other rioters.”
“Each of these defendants was an active participant in the first wave of rioters to enter the tunnel between 2:40 and 3:18 p.m.,” the Justice Department said in a filing last month notifying the court a fourth superseding indictment was coming. “Moreover, several of the defendants, including Mr. Klein, committed additional crimes on the first landing of the Lower West Terrace before reaching the tunnel for the first time.”
The new indictment increases the stakes for Klein, who now faces 12 counts – up from eight – including six counts of assaulting police officers. A bodycam video released in July shows a man the DOJ has identified as Klein pushing his way to the front of the crowd in the tunnel and then trying to grab a riot shield out of an officer’s hands, before picking up a large metal pole. The DOJ says Klein also incited the mob, yelling “…we need fresh people…” as part of the first wave battling officers.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ordered Klein released on GPS monitoring and home detention in April, despite finding he had shown a “demonstrated willingness to use force to advance his personal beliefs.” Part of Bates’ ruling was that the government had shown no evidence that Klein “injured an officer or anyone else, or that he destroyed any federal property – or that he sought to do either.” The new counts of assault Klein now faces in the superseding indictment could allow the government an opportunity to ask Bates to reconsider that ruling – but the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia declined to comment on that possibility Thursday afternoon.
“We are not commenting on cases beyond what is stated or submitted to the Court,” a spokesman said in a written statement to WUSA.
Cappuccio appeared virtually before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad on Thursday morning and was released on GPS monitoring and an unsecured $50,000 bond. It was not immediately clear whether Mehaffie had made his initial appearance before a judge yet. As of Thursday, Klein remained on pretrial release in the Eastern District of Virginia.
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