An East Williston attorney was arrested Thursday for allegedly trying to grab a baton from a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, federal authorities said.
John O’Kelly was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder. His bail was set at $100,000 following his initial appearance at Central Islip federal court.
Authorities said the 66-year-old man made his way to the Capitol grounds where rioters were fighting with law enforcement officers attempting to maintain a police barrier, emerged from the crowd and grabbed at the baton of an officer and tried to take the weapon. After the officer fought back and kept the baton in his possession, O’Kelly then took a step back and pushed a metal bike rack being used to secure the perimeter into the line of officers, prosecutors said.
Police cited police body camera footage, cell phone records and witness accounts in the investigation, according to court records. The FBI circulating various photos of him online helped made the identification with the help o Twitter users dedicated to sharing images of the rioters, according to investigators.
More than 880 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including at least a half dozen from Long Island.
O’Kelly was represented today by attorney Evan Sugar of the Long Island Federal Defenders Office, which could not immediately be reached for comment.