A convicted participant in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot (or as I call it, the Lolla-Trumps-a-looza rebellion) was tackled to the ground by federal agents while in court Monday after he tried to flee after being remanded by the judge instead of released until sentencing.
According to CBS News, Vitali GossJankowski was found guilty earlier this year of multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for assaulting officers during the Capitol attack. (Those charges included one for an assault with an electroshock device, which is why it’s odd that he was acquitted of using a deadly or dangerous weapon during the riot.)
GossJankowski—(*resists the urge to make a joke about how he’s a Jan 6 rioter with “Jan” right in the middle of his name*)—was initially ordered to be released from custody while he awaited sentencing, but Judge Paul Friedman decided to remand him and schedule a hearing for next week after federal prosecutors reported multiple threatening and otherwise menacing texts and social media posts he allegedly sent targeting law enforcement, including an officer who set up his first interrogation with the FBI, arrested him in 2021 and testified during his trial.
“As noted, since last weekend, the defendant’s conduct has escalated significantly,” prosecutors wrote in their filing earlier this month. “Previously, the defendant had used his social media to track and publicly harass members of law enforcement and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. This alone was concerning. But now, he has sent intimidating, direct messages to a specific law enforcement officer who previously testified in this case.”
So, GossJankowski found out his alleged text and online activity was going to send him directly to jail and he decided to book it. Unfortunately, there’s no available video footage of the spectacle (yeah, sorry, guys—put away your popcorn) but an official told ABC News that “multiple FBI and USMS agents were required to assist to detain the defendant and ensure the safety of the courtroom.”
Meanwhile, GossJankowski’s attorney appears to claim it was the shocking decision by the judge that prompted his client to let his emotional state cloud his judgment.
“The end of today’s hearing was a confusing and emotional moment for Mr. GossJankowski and not at all in line with the character he has demonstrated through his many months on release,” attorney Matthew Peed said. “He never violated any terms of his release or made any threats.”
Sure, Jan. (Sorry, I really couldn’t help myself.)
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