Defendant Used Police Shield to Ram Into Officers
WASHINGTON — A Massachusetts man was found guilty today of felony and misdemeanor charges for assaulting law enforcement during the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Vincent J. Gillespie, 61, of Athol, Massachusetts, was found guilty after a trial in U.S. District Court of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; civil disorder; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell scheduled sentencing for March 17, 2023.
Gillespie was arrested on February 18, 2022, in Athol, Massachusetts.
The evidence at trial showed that on January 6, 2021, from approximately 4:11 p.m. to 4:26 p.m., Gillespie was among rioters in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol who engaged in pushing, shoving, yelling, and fighting with law enforcement officers. He struggled his way through the crowd, eventually maneuvering through the rioters to the line of police officers defending the Lower West Terrace’s exterior door. At one point, he gained control of a police shield and used it to ram the police. He then used two hands to grab a Metropolitan Police Department sergeant by the arm, yanking him toward the mob. He then screamed “traitor” and “treason” at the police.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
The case was investigated by the FBI Boston Division’s Springfield, Massachusetts Resident Agency Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI Boston Division’s Worcester Resident Agency, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Athol, Massachusetts Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. Gillespie was identified as #141 on the FBI Washington Field Office’s seeking information photos.
In the 23 months since January 6, close to 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.