Who is David Mehaffie? FBI arrests anti-abortion extremist who fought cops during Capitol riots

The FBI arrested anti-abortion extremist and '#TunnelCommander' David Mehaffie who fought cops during Capitol riots

                            Who is David Mehaffie? FBI arrests anti-abortion extremist who fought cops during Capitol riots
David Mehaffie during the January 6 US Capitol riot (Department of Justice)

DAYTON, OHIO: The FBI detained an anti-abortion radical from Ohio on Thursday, August 12, for allegedly attacking law officers while herding members of a pro-Trump crowd near the US Capitol's entrance on January 6 during the infamous Capitol insurrection.

In other news of Trump supporter arrests in connection to January 6, Florida man Paul Hodgkins was sentenced to eight months in prison followed by 24 months of supervised release on Monday, July 19, in the first felony sentencing in connection with the Capitol riots.


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The Munns, a Texas family of five, were recently arrested for the same after a friend turned them in. Last month, the FBI arrested a Pennsylvania man with a fully constructed Capitol lego set, as the body continued to build its case against those involved in the January 6 insurrection. David Mehaffie is the FBI's newest detainee in the Capitol riots case. 

Who is David Mehaffie?

David Mehaffie is from Kettering in Dayton, Ohio. He is the latest of at least 10 other Miami Valley residents to be charged in connection with the Washington, DC, Capitol assaults on January 6. HuffPost first reported that the 62-year-old had been dubbed "#TunnelCommander" by online Capitol riot investigators for appearing to lead the violent mob as they attempted to breach the Capitol's lower western terrace entrance in one of the day's most violent episodes, which included attacks on law enforcement.

On August 4, US Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather of the District of Columbia signed a warrant for Mehaffie's arrest. A grand jury indicted Mehaffie and another previously uncharged defendant, Steven Cappuccio, on a litany of counts involving violent attacks on police officers during the incident. According to a court document filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Mehaffie faces accusations of assaulting, obstructing, or hindering certain officials, as well as aiding and abetting.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)


According to the court filing, he “did forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate and interfere with an officer and employee of the United States,” Dayton Daily News reported. He is also accused of committing an act of physical assault on the grounds of the United States Capitol, according to the paper, as well as obstructing an official procedure, disorderly behavior in a Capitol building, and civil disorder.

Mehaffie can be seen instructing members of the mob who had rushed police barriers and were forcefully demanding to push their way into the building, overwhelming police personnel, in video footage obtained from the Capitol attack. During the incident, cops stationed in that vicinity included DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was pulled down the Capitol steps and had a minor heart attack and concussion. To the Washington Post, he characterized his meeting with the throng on the West Terrace as a  “medieval battle scene.”

Mehaffie has been active in anti-abortion campaigning and was previously identified in a two-decades-old federal complaint that claimed Mehaffie was part of a group that illegally obstructed entrances to abortion clinics in three Ohio communities in July 1997. The mistrial in the 1998 case was hailed by Mehaffie as a win in his campaign against abortion. “God has given a victory over a federal government that has wholeheartedly endorsed, protected, and even propagated infanticide,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press at the time.