PHILADELPHIA, PA — A Pennsylvania man was arrested Monday for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Samuel Lazar, 35, of Ephrata, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, among other charges. Lazar made his initial court appearance on Tuesday. in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
According to court documents, Lazar was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 dressed in tactical gear, protective goggles and camouflage face paint. As depicted in open source video, Lazar approached a line of police barricades on the west front of the U.S. Capitol where he aimed a canister of what appeared to be a chemical irritant in the direction of U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers. As depicted in MPD body-worn camera (BWC) footage, Lazar walked along a police line around 1:13 p.m. and grabbed a bike rack, in an apparent attempt to remove it, while discharging a chemical irritant from the canister in his other hand.
Lazar was told to get back and police deployed a chemical irritant causing Lazar to retreat down the steps. Lazar then turned to face an officer and redeployed his chemical irritant, causing another officer to lose the ability to see. An open source video depicts Lazar, purportedly at 4:30 p.m., stating, “They maced us, those tyrannical pieces of s***, and we maced them right the f*** back and now they’re taking the building.”
The case is being 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 Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Lazar as #275 in its seeking information photos, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office.
In the six months since Jan. 6, more than 535 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 165 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.
Information is subject to change at any time. The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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