Who is Ryan Stephen Samsel? Capitol rioter who assaulted female officer in viral video has a long crime record
'We don't have to hurt you, why are you standing in our way?' the alleged assaulter told the female cop
BRISTOL, PENNSYLVANIA: A Bucks County man has been pressed with federal charges for allegedly getting involved in a violent fight with a police officer during the Capitol riots on January 6 that took the lives of five people, including a cop. Ryan Stephen Samsel from Bristol was also allegedly present at the scene to protest against the certification of President Joe Biden. The 37-year-old was taken into custody over the weekend and slapped with various charges, including forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating, or interfering with a federal agent, according to federal court documents.
The official document also stated that Samsel was allegedly responsible for leading a group of demonstrators toward the Capitol. He also knocked a police barricade and struck a female police officer. “At approximately 12:50 p.m., SAMSEL was observed walking past the fence line with one other individual. The two approached a second line of barricades that were manned by uniformed U.S. Capitol Police Officers. The second line of barricades were constructed of metal bike rack barriers, physically linked end to end, and reinforced with dark colored plastic mesh safety fencing affixed behind the metal bike racks. The fence line was clearly marked with large white ‘AREA ClOSED’ signs affixed to the fencing with bold red lettering. Upon approaching the barricade manned by the U.S. Capitol Police Officers, SAMSEL immediately became confrontational with a U.S. Capitol Police Officer with an aggressive posture,” the report written by an FBI special agent explained.
It added, “SAMSEL and others in the crowd pushed and pulled on the barricades. SAMSEL eventually removed his light blue jacket, revealing a long sleeve white-hooded shirt under a black t-shirt and turned his hat around backwards in a manner that appears as if SAMSEL was preparing for a physical altercation. After removing his jacket, SAMSEL pushed and pulled the barricades until the crowd successfully pushed the barricades down on top of the officers. In the process of pushing the barricades to the ground, SAMSEL and others knocked over U.S. Capitol Police Officer.”
It has been said that the officer allegedly victimized by Samsel was later shifted to a hospital after she collapsed while arresting another rioter. Earlier, the man had allegedly told the officer, “We don't have to hurt you, why are you standing in our way?" The video of the incident was shared widely on social media on the day of the riot.
IMPORTANT: this is exact moment the siege of the Capitol building began as the two men in front ripped down a preliminary barrier & rushed officers who were behind a 2nd barrier— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 6, 2021
They then encouraged others to follow their lead. Officers appeared to be taken completely off guard pic.twitter.com/LE0a01PXBi
The arrest of Samsel came after investigators reportedly took the help of cell phone location data and other information to identify him and confirmed his presence near the site of the riots. However, this is reportedly not the first time, Samsel has made into police records. As per authorities, the accused is currently on parole in his home state and also wanted in Riverside, New Jersey, in connection to an alleged assault. The court records noted that since 2003, Samsel has been in and out of jail several times because of his involvement in violent offenses in Bucks County.
Reports said Samsel received two years probation after pleading guilty to terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct related to a 2006 case. Between 2007 and 2009, he had been charged with a number of criminal charges. He pleaded guilty to some of them and was awarded one to two years behind bars each time. A few years later, in 2011, he was given more time in jail after he pleaded guilty to witness intimidation, conspiracy, terroristic threats, simple assault, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, and harassment. He was awarded four to 10 years behind bars. He came out of jail five years ago, however, after pleading guilty to simple assault, he was sent back to jail for six to 12 months.
Samsel is one of more than 130 people arrested in connection with the riot investigation. More than 400 people who participated in the riot have been identified, though there may not be probable cause to charge all of them, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia said last week.