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'There would have been a blood bath' | Maine man charged in Capitol attack has second day in court

Kyle Fitzsimons of Lebanon is facing 11 criminal charges including using a deadly weapon and causing bodily injury to officers.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Kyle Fitzsimons of Lebanon, Maine, had his second day in court Wednesday facing charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

Prosecutors representing the U.S. government rested their case alleging 11 criminal counts including six felony charges against Fitzsimons.

The charges are as follows: 

  • Count 1 - Civil Disorder
  • Count 2 - Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting
  • Count 3 - Using a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon on Certain Officers 
  • Count 4 - Inflicting Bodily Injury on Certain Officers 
  • Count 5 - Inflicting Bodily Injury on Certain Officers 
  • Count 6 - Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers
  • Count 7 - Entering and Remaining in Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Count 8 - Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Count 9 - Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Count 10 - Disorderly Conduct in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings
  • Count 11 - Act of Physical Violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings

Prosecutors presented testimony from Capitol area law enforcement and a journalist who interviewed Fitzsimons after his participation in the insurrection.

The first witness Wednesday was a Sarah Beaver, a field training officer with the Metro PD.

She was struck in the head by what was argued to be an unstrung bow Fitzsimons brought to the riot.

On the witness stand, Beaver recalled the intensity she felt while responding to the attack.

"They started to commit violent acts against police. … We drove up there, we parked behind the capitol, we walked down the south side. … There was water bottles, officers gagging, laying down," Beaver said.

The prosecution then called on Harrison Thorp, a New England journalist who works for the Rochester Voice and covers eastern New Hampshire and western Maine, including the town where Fitzsimons is from. 

He told the court he interviewed Fitzsimons, who called him later for a story idea.

"I spoke to him on a Saturday, following the story. He wanted to tell me he set up a peaceful protest somewhere in Portland," Thorp said.

Aquilino Gonell, a sergeant with the Capitol police department was the final witness for the day. Gonell said Fitzsimons attacked him, injuring his shoulder, and attempted to drag him into the crowd of insurrectionists.

"I heard officers saying we need to retreat. ... I tried to make my way up there. Going up those steps was very claustrophobic. Some of the officers were pushing to get in that door. At that time we were getting desperate ... fighting for our lives," Gonell said.

Gonell said he was attacked by Fitzsimons when he was trying to help an officer who had fallen but wanted to hold the line between Fitzsimons and rioters and the doors to the capitol building.

"It is the location for members of Congress. ... I decided to defend that because I consider ... there would have been a blood bath for members of congress," Gonell said. "Some of the members of the Senate and the Congress were being evacuated. ... Those particular locations were secure locations. ... Had we let those rioters in, they would have run into those very same members."

Gonell was cross-examined by Fitzsimons' attorney Natasha Taylor Smith. Smith attempted to poke holes in Gonell's statements that he gave to various media outlets and argued that he was paid twice for interviews.

Gonell will return Thursday for an extra day in court, as Fitzsimons' defense prepares to offer its case to the court.

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