Who is Dominic Pezzola? Proud Boys member smoked cigar inside Capitol, threatened to kill Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi
Pezzola and his companions had allegedly stated to 'kill anyone they got their hands on', including Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
On January 15, Friday, FBI arrested a member of the controversial political group ‘Proud Boys’, who reportedly smoked a cigar inside the Capitol building while participating in the Capital riots of January 6.
The man, identified as 43-year-old Dominic Pezzola, was spotted in the leaked video to lit up a cigar and calling it ‘Victory smoke in the Capitol.” He turned himself in to the federal authorities on Friday morning. He has been detained by federal prosecutors for being on “risk of flight and risk of danger”.
Who is Dominic Pezzola?
Pezzola, who hails from Rochester, New York, is the owner of a flooring business named D Pezzola Flooring. His profile describes him as a veteran of the Marine Corps.
He boasts himself to be a member of the notorious gang “Proud Boys”, known for their extremist, far-right, and violent stance on politics. On December 12, Pezzola reportedly was a part of a MAGA rally where he was photographed with his Proud Boys logo on display. Incidentally, the rally had turned violent resulting in four stabbings.
On December 6, Pezzola was among the hundreds of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to stop the validation of President-elect Joe Biden by the Congress. In a video footage, Pezzola was seen smoking a cigar and breaking windows using a riot shield.
“Victory smoke in the Capitol, boys. This is f**king awesome. I knew we could take this motherf**ker over [if we] just tried hard enough,” Pezzola reportedly had bragged about his involvement in the Capital riots.
The most shocking information is that Pezzola apparently talked about assassinating Vice-President Mike Pence. He had said that he could ‘kill’ Pence ‘if given the chance’.
At the time when Pezzola and his fellow rioters led the Capitol Siege, the Vice-President and his family were escorted by Secret Service officials off the premises and they were hiding in an office barely 100 feet from the rioters.
What are the charges against Pezzola?
An anonymous witness helped the FBI identify Pezzola, claiming that they knew him as “Spaz” in his inner circles and that he often boasted about breaking windows at the Capitol with a police shield on the day of the riot.
An affidavit issued from the U.S. Attorney’s Office charges Pezzola by criminal complaint with -
“..with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(c)(2); one count of destruction of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361; and one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section1752(a)."
The affidavit also added that Pezzola and his companions had allegedly stated to “kill anyone they got their hands on, including Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His group allegedly threatened to return to Washington D.C. and kill “every single m-fer they could.”
If convicted of his crimes, Pezzola can face up to 20 years in federal prison.