A New York man was arrested today 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.
Edward Francisco Rodriguez, 26, of Brooklyn, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and engaging in physical violence on Capitol grounds, among other charges. Rodriguez made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of New York on July 9.
According to court documents, Rodriguez was among the crowd of protesters on the lower-level terrace of the west side of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 where he was dressed in a dark colored suit carrying a white sign with the words “STOP THE STEAL” in red lettering. As depicted in publicly available video, Rodriguez pointed a canister at visibly marked law enforcement officers manning a barricade and sprayed them with a chemical irritant before retreating back into the crowd. The video circulated online, where social media users referred to the assailant as “#SuitMacer,” who was later identified as Rodriguez.
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 New York.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s New York Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Washington 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.
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.