One person arrested was charged with possessing a “military style automatic weapon” and 11 molotov cocktails, prosecutors said. Another defendant was charged with assaulting a police officer with a hockey stick. Yet another, who needed a Russian interpreter, told a judge, “I don’t know what unlawful entry you are referring to.”
They had been among thousands of demonstrators who marched on the Capitol in support of President Trump’s false claim that he lost the Nov. 3 election because of massive voter fraud. Although prosecutors in some cases sought to have them held in jail pending prosecution, most were released on their own recognizance.
The 40 defendants in Superior Court were accused of violating D.C. law, including being out after a 6 p.m. curfew imposed by the city.
As of early Thursday evening, four other people, charged with federal crimes, appeared in U.S. District Court, including a Maryland man accused of possessing a firearm after curfew on Capitol grounds just outside the Capitol Visitor Center — a 9mm handgun with a round in the firing chamber. Prosecutors said he also was carrying two fully loaded 12-round magazines, wearing a bulletproof vest, and carrying a gas mask and pocket knife in his backpack. Police said in an affidavit that the man told officers that the gun was for personal protection and that he did not intend to hurt anyone.