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Judge’s Son, Public Employees Among Dozens Charged In Capitol Riot

Brooklyn, NY – The son of a Brooklyn judge featured wearing a Capitol Police ballistic vest over a caveman outfit during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was arrested on Tuesday and charged with multiple federal felonies as charges against rioters continue to stack up.

Aaron Mostofsky, the son of Kings County Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, appeared in multiple viral pictures and videos of the Capitol riot dressed as a caveman and carrying a Capitol Police officer’s ballistic shield, CBS News reported.

The criminal complaint said that authorities identified Mostofsky using social media posts and comments he made to the New York Post during the riot.

Prosecutors said Mostofsky identified himself to the New York Post reporter using only his first name and claimed “The election was stolen” and said “We were cheated,” CBS News reported.

The complaint said Mostofsky sent messages to friends about meeting up at the Capitol riot.

“If we find each other look for a guy looking like a caveman… Even a caveman knows it was stolen,” he wrote, referencing a famous television commercial by Geico.

Mostofsky was arrested on Jan. 12 at his Brooklyn home, CBS News reported.

The federal criminal complaint charged the judge’s son with felony theft of government property, unlawful entry of a restricted building, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds with intent to impede government activity.

Prosecutors said the Capitol Police vest and shield are valued at more than $2,000, CBS News reported.

The complaint said Mostofsky told officers that he found the tactical police gear on the ground.

Mostofsky was released on a secured $100,000 bond and the terms of his bond require him to wear a GPS ankle monitor and prohibit him from attending political gatherings, CBS News reported.

The judge ordered him to remain in New York City and forbid him from visiting any state capitols.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said that if he is convicted, Mostofsky faces up to 10 years in prison on just the felony theft charge, CBS News reported.

Federal law enforcement officials said on Tuesday at a press conference that investigators had opened more than 170 subject files and had already arrested more than 70 participants in the Capitol riot, WTTG reported.

Officials said that many of the suspects were being charged with misdemeanors as placeholders and that more serious felony charges including “sedition” would be levied at a later date.

Prosecutors said the entire U.S. Capitol grounds were being considered a crime scene and they expected to make hundreds of arrests as the investigations progressed, WTTG reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been sharing pictures of Capitol riot participants on social media and numerous suspects have been identified by members of the public who recognized them.

Colleagues and supervisors of a New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) employee turned Will Pepe in to federal authorities after they recognized him in the picture dump by the FBI, the New York Post reported.

Pepe, who called in sick to work on Jan. 6, was suspended without pay by transit officials on Friday.

“Participation in the riot which resulted in deadly violence at the Capitol last week was abhorrent to the values of the MTA and New Yorkers, and those who attacked that symbol of American democracy disqualified themselves from working for the People of New York,” MTA Spokesman Tim Minton said, according to the New York Post.

“Mr. Pepe is entitled to due process and was suspended last week as part of that process,” Minton added.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Manhattan confirmed that Pepe had been arrested but the specific charges remained unclear, WNBC reported.

A Florida firefighter has been suspended without pay after pictures of him at the Capitol riot were brought to the attention of the Sanford Fire Department, WESH reported.

Sanford Fire Chief Craig Radzak identified Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Williams in the pictures and initially put him on paid administrative leave pending investigation, according to the Bradenton Herald.

But the fire chief changed Williams’ status to unpaid leave after he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful entry in federal court on Tuesday.

“We hold the men and women in this department to the highest standards. It saddens me that the actions of one individual have tarnished the hard work and dedication that the rest of the department puts forth on a daily basis,” Radzak said in a statement.

Williams was released on a $25,000 bond and ordered to appear in court in the nation’s capital on Jan. 22, the Bradenton Herald reported.

He is prohibited from leaving Florida except for legal appearances and must undergo a mental health evaluation as condition of his release.

The chief said Williams would remain employed by the fire department while the matter is investigated, the Bradenton Herald reported.

“Our investigation will continue in conjunction with the current federal criminal investigation,” Radzak said. “As is policy with any type of policy violation, including a criminal violation, an internal administrative process must be followed in order to ensure a thorough investigation with a just conclusion. I ask for the public’s patience as we move through this process.”

On the way out of federal court in Orland on Jan. 12, Williams’ attorney blamed President Donald Trump and police for his client’s actions.

“The president and the Capitol Police encouraged despicable behavior,” Vincent Citro told reporters. “Mr. Williams took part in none of it.”

The man featured in viral images sitting behind a desk in the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Jan. 6 turned himself in to Arkansas authorities and appeared in federal court on Tuesday, CBS News reported.

The criminal complaint said that Richard Barnette carried a stun gun with him into the U.S. Capitol on the day of the riot.

Barnette is facing felony weapons charges that could garner him up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine in addition to a slew of lesser charges, CBS News reported.

“The shocking images of Mr. Barnett with his boots up on a desk in the Speaker of the House’s office on Wednesday was repulsive,” Acting U.S. Attorney General of Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a press release. “Those who are proven to have committed criminal acts during the storming of the Capitol will face justice.”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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