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17 months after being charged, Rhode Island man to make initial appearance in Capitol riot case

Timothy Desjardins has been in custody in Rhode Island on multiple assault charges since late 2021.

WASHINGTON — A Rhode Island man accused of assaulting police with a broken table leg on Jan. 6 will make his initial appearance before federal judge in D.C. Tuesday more than 17 months after being charged.

Timothy Desjardins, 36, of Providence, was charged in late November 2021 with six counts in connection to the Capitol riot. According to a statement of facts filed in D.C. District Court, video posted to YouTube by another rioter shows Desjardins repeatedly attacking police defending the Capitol tunnel with what appears to be a broken table leg.

Desjardins also allegedly attempted to enter a restricted area behind the FBI headquarters in D.C. on January 7. According to a tip submitted by an FBI officer, Desjardins said he was at the Capitol the day earlier, but would not go into detail. At the time, the officer said, Desjardins had “one or two hatchets with paracord wrapped handles on the side of his dark colored backpack and Desjardins mentioned that he was good with them.”

Desjardins’ backpack was recovered the same day by a D.C. Police Officer in the 1200 block of G Street. Inside, police found his ID card, two black walkie talkies and three hatchets.

Credit: Department of Justice
The FBI says a backpack containing three hatchets belonging to Timothy Desjardins was discovered on January 7 in Washington, D.C.

A criminal complaint was filed against Desjardins on Nov. 19, 2021, and unsealed a week and a half later. But Desjardins never made an initial appearance because at the time of the filing he was already in custody in Rhode Island.

According to Rhode Island court records, Desjardins was charged with multiple counts of felony assault stemming from a shooting in a Walgreens parking lot in September 2019 and a separate standoff with police at his barbershop in November of that same year. Since his arrest in connection with the standoff, Desjardins had been held in pretrial detention – where he was when charges connected to Jan. 6 were filed.

Last month, Desjardins was sentenced by a Rhode Island judge on multiple counts of assault and possession of firearms after conviction of a crime of violence. He was ordered to serve 18 years in prison on the most serious count of assault with a dangerous weapon.

With his Rhode Island case disposed of, on Thursday, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui ordered Desjardins to appear telephonically at a 1 p.m. hearing on Tuesday for his initial appearance in his Jan. 6 case. Court records showed no attorney had yet made an appearance on Desjardins’ behalf. Under federal law, assault on a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

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