New Jersey Man Who Stood Beside Woman Shot in Capitol Riot Arrested

(Bloomberg) -- Thomas Baranyi, a New Jersey man who stormed the U.S. Capitol and was next to fellow rioter Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot by a police officer, was arrested and charged.

Seen in videos of the attack wearing a backwards pro-Trump baseball cap and New York Giants sweatshirt, Baranyi was charged Tuesday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, with violent entry of a restricted building and disorderly conduct. He was released on $100,000 bail. Further proceedings will take place in federal court in Washington, where a hearing has been set for Jan. 18.

Baranyi has retained an as-yet-unidentified lawyer, according to court filings.

An affidavit submitted by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in support of the arrest warrant cited an interview Baranyi gave a television news reporter on the grounds of the Capitol.

“We tore through the scaffolding, through flash bangs and tear gas, and blitzed our way in through all the chambers just trying to get into Congress or whoever we could get in to and tell them that we need some kind of investigation into this,” Baranyi told the reporter.

Baranyi, the affidavit says, pushed forward and eventually “stood next to a window opening in a door to the Speaker’s Lobby from which the glass had just been busted out by another individual.” He said in his TV interview that he was next to Babbitt, the San Diego woman who tried to climb through the door and was shot by a U.S. Capitol police officer. She later died, becoming one of five deaths resulting from the riot.

Baranyi told the reporter Babbitt fell back on him after being shot and showed blood on his hands that he said belonged to her. “It was a joke to them until we got inside and then guns came out,” he said. “But we’re at a point now, it can’t be allowed to stand. We have to do something. People have to do something.”

NJ.com has reported that Baranyi is 28 and a former Peace Corps volunteer.

The case is U.S. v. Baranyi, 21-mj-24, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.