The Lebanon man accused of charging a line of police officers in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach has been denied bail a second time by a federal judge in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras determined that Kyle Fitzsimons, 37, posed a threat to public safety if released.
“Given his lack of remorse — and even pride — in his actions that day, the court lacks confidence that Fitzsimons has somehow broken this pattern, and fears that the escalation of his behavior will continue and result in a graver act of violence given that the trigger for his violent acts — the election of President Biden — will be present for, at least, three more years,” the judge wrote.
Fitzsimons is facing 10 charges in connection with his participation in the events in Washington, D.C., two weeks before the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Those counts include separate alleged assaults on two different police officers.
He has been held without bail since Feb. 4, when he was arrested at his home in Maine.
In April, U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey agreed with federal prosecutors’ arguments that Fitzsimons would be a danger to the community and a flight risk if released on bail. The judge rejected Fitzsimons’ contention that a crowd pushed him from behind into the police line.
Contreras held a hearing last month on Fitzsimons’ renewed request for bail. He sought to live with his mother in Titusville, Florida, according to court documents. Fitzsimons worked as a butcher in York County prior to his arrest.
His attorney, Natasha Taylor-Smith, a federal defender based in Philadelphia, argued that he had been “persuaded by the rhetoric” of Trump and the Republican Party that the 2020 election result was fraudulent, prompting him to travel to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 and attend a “Save America” rally that later led to the Capitol siege.
“Mr. Fitzsimons had no prior intent to enter the Capitol building or engage in violence, but the energy of the crowd that day is well-documented, and the mood shifted from one of purported patriotism to agitation,” Taylor-Smith said.
He traveled alone, she said.
The lawyer argued for Fitzsimons’ release due to his “minimal” criminal history that includes one drunken driving offense. She said he is not a flight risk and poses no threat to the community.
Contreras disagreed and said Fitzsimons’ actions at the Capitol, captured on video, “demonstrated a disregard for the safety of others and the rule of law.”
“He was one of the rioters who injured, attempted to injure, or threatened to injure others, not one who merely wandered [onto] the Capitol grounds,” the judge concluded. “He worked his way to the front lines of the conflict with law enforcement officers and used his body to forcefully attack and attempt to injure officers.”
Fitzsimons was part of a group that forced its way past police and into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of results from the November presidential election, according to federal prosecutors. Fitzsimons never made it inside but, wearing a butcher’s jacket and carrying an unstrung bow, he and others overcame officers in a police line.
Fitzsimons allegedly grabbed an officer’s shoulder and tried to pull him into the crowd. That caused him to fall, and the officer struck Fitzsimons in the head several times to free himself from the Maine man’s grip.
After being struck by the baton, Fitzsimons moved and charged at the line of officers, according to court documents. He allegedly grabbed an officer’s gas mask and pulled it to the side before another person behind Fitzsimons covered the officer in pepper spray.
A trial date has not been set.
Fitzsimons will continue to be held at a federal detention facility in the Washington, D.C., area where he was moved after an initial court appearance in Maine in February.
He is one of about 650 people charged in federal court as of Tuesday in connection with events on Jan. 6, according to Insider.
If convicted, he faces up to eight years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the most serious charge of assault on an officer.