A Princeton University student was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly joined other rioters in pushing police officers guarding the entrance to the U.S. Capitol.Court records show.
According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Larry Fife Giberson, 21, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, was on the front lines of a mob fight against police in a tunnel when an officer was briefly crushed between the rioters and the tunnel door. Giberson shoved other rioters into the tunnel before joining in a second round of “heave ho” blows at police, the agent said.
Giberson “Drag them!” and then cheered on rioters using weapons and pepper spray against police in the tunnel, according to the FBI. On Jan. 6, 2021, Giberson was in the area for about an hour, the affidavit said.
Department of Justice
Giberson was arrested Tuesday in Washington, D.C., on charges including one felony count of civil disorder, according to court filings. He faces four other charges, including one involving physical violence in a restricted building or field.
A federal magistrate judge ordered Giberson released from custody after an initial court appearance in Washington on Tuesday.
Charles Burnham, an attorney for Giberson, declined to comment on the allegations.
The Daily Princetonian reports that Giberson is a senior majoring in politics, and the school’s James Madison program has listed him among its 2022-23 graduate fellows.
University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss said in an email Tuesday that Giberson is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Princeton.
“Beyond this we have nothing to add,” wrote Hotchkiss.
Giberson wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and a Trump flag around his neck when he joined the mob’s attack on police officers in a tunnel on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace, the affidavit said.
The FBI posted photos of Giberson on social media asking for the public’s help in identifying him. Online sleuths posted memes of Giberson online using the hashtag moniker “#DragThemOut.”
Investigators matched Giberson’s photo with several photos from the Capitol found on Instagram and Princeton University’s website, the FBI agent said. The FBI interviewed Giberson at the Princeton Police Department in the presence of an attorney before the arrest.
The FBI agent’s affidavit did not say whether Giberson attended the “Stop the Steel” rally where then-President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters on Jan. 6.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department reached a milestone in the prosecution of the US Capitol attack, it confirmedRelated to the riots that disrupted a joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory.
A little more than half of the men and women charged with federal crimes in the Jan. 6 attack have been convicted in their cases. But even after the case is closed, new defendants and allegations continue to emerge, which could stretch the overall trial into 2024, if not beyond.
The Justice Department has achieved a nearly flawless record in prosecuting the Capitol riots in the first two years of the case. Only one defendant, a New Mexico man who requested a bench trial — with no jury and verdict by judge — was fully acquitted. The defendant, Matthew Martin, argued that he did not know he was actually in a confined space on January 6.
Scott McFarlane contributed to this report.
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