An active-duty U.S. Marine officer was arrested Thursday and charged with using violence against police during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Major Christopher Warnagiris, 40, is accused of pushing his way past a line of police protecting the Capitol and forcing his way through a doorway in the East Rotunda of the Capitol.
Warnagiris, a Woodbridge, Virginia, resident who is stationed at Marine Corp Base Quantico, is charged in federal court with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, obstruction of law enforcement, obstruction of Congress, violent entry of Capitol Grounds, and entering or remaining in a restriced building without lawful authority.
He will make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Virginia.
Court documents say that after Warnagiris violently entered the Capitol he positioned himself in the corner of the doorway and used his body to prop the door open and pull other rioters inside.
Video surveillance footage shows Warnagiris pushing a cop who tried to shut the door, according to a criminal complaint.
The Pentagon had no immediate comment on the arrest, which occurred Thursday morning in Virginia.
Warnagiris was identified by a member of the public on March 16 after that person saw three photos of a man who had entered the Capitol, according to the complaint.
That witness recognized Warnagiris after having worked with for about six month in 2019, the complaint said.
A second witness “who has worked with Warnagiris for approximately nine months and tends to see him in close proximity several times a week” identified him in the same photos seen by the first witness, according to that charging document.
In 2017, Warnagiris acted as operations officers for a landing force of U.S. Marines and Navy sailors who were placed on the French Navy amphibious assault ship LHD Tonnere during a two-month deployment in the U.S. 5th fleet area of operations, according to a news article on the Marines website.
About 440 people have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, which began after Trump urged a throng of supporters at a rally outside the White House to march there.
The invasion of the Capitol complex disrupted a joint session of Congress, which was sitting that day to confirm the Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden.
Trump had falsely claimed for weeks after the November presidential election, and has continued doing so until today, that he won the White House race, and that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread ballot fraud.
– CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.