New York man pleads guilty to snatching officer’s pepper spray during US Capitol riot

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Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier on Jan 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP)

WASHINGTON, May 26, (AP): An upstate New York man has pleaded guilty to charges that he snatched away a police officer’s can of pepper spray during a chaotic clash with officers guarding the US Capitol building during the Jan 6, 2021 riot.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that Troy Weeks, 38, was among a group that tried to overwhelm officers who were blocking an entryway to the building as supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol grounds in protest of Trump’s election loss.
He has pleaded guilty to felony charges of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer, as well as a handful of related misdemeanor charges. His attorneys did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.
On Jan 6, Weeks worked his way through a crowd to a line of police stationed at a Capitol entryway, thrusting his hand through a broken window to grab a can of pepper spray from an officer, authorities said. The officer was able to snatch the can back from Weeks as he was pulling his arm through the window, according to court documents.
Weeks then pushed past a set of doors and pressed into the line of officers, grabbing onto one of their shields before an officer pepper sprayed him, authorities said. He eventually exited the entryway but returned about 40 minutes later with other rioters to again push against the police line.
Weeks remained on the Capitol grounds after his clash with police, and was later recorded on a body camera asking officers why they weren’t “protecting the ballots,” according to court documents.

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