On January 6, 2021, rioters clash with police trying to enter the Capitol through the front doors.
Lev Radin | Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images
Federal authorities have arrested two New Yorkers – a former New York police officer and a Republican Party official from Queens – for their alleged roles in the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Former New York Police Department officer Thomas Webster is accused of attacking a Capitol cop with a whistle, NBC New York reported Tuesday.
Webster, who as a police officer had duties that included guarding the perimeter of City Hall and the Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City Mayors, surrendered at the FBI’s Hudson Valley office on Monday, according to NBC.
He is expected to be tried in federal court in White Plains, New York on Tuesday.
Webster was featured on an “information search” poster tweeted by the FBI in late January.
The other defendant, Philip Grillo, 46, was arrested Monday afternoon at his girlfriend’s apartment in Queens, New York. Grillo calls himself “The Republican Messiah” on his Facebook page.
Grillo was identified by two tipsters as one of the mobs who invaded the Capitol. They recognized him by a Knights of Columbus jacket, which he was wearing, among other things, according to a statement of fact signed by an FBI agent.
“I’ve seen him twice on CNN in two different incidents,” a witness told the FBI, finding that they knew Grillo from childhood in the Glen Oaks division of Queens.
Grillo, who has been confirmed by the FBI to be a member of a council of the Queens Knights of Columbus, is listed as the GOP leader of the Queens Knights of Columbus District’s Republican party group as the GOP leader of the 24th district in Queens.
At the end of 2020, he was denied confirmation as a placeholder candidate in a special election on February 2 for a seat on New York City Council.
Grillo’s efforts to get on the ballot and switch another man for the actual candidate for the races – a tactic that is legal – failed after a former Democratic councilor seeking the seat challenged his petition’s signatures .
His Facebook page states that he is a GOP state commissioner in President Trump’s Hometown District.
“I’m really upset,” Grillo’s mother told CNBC when asked to comment on his arrest.
Image included in the statement of fact submitted with the arrest warrant.
The FBI said in the fact sheet that on the day of the riot, a cell phone number was used in and around the Capitol building on behalf of Grillo’s mother, who is in her early 70s. She was not charged in the case.
Grillo is expected to appear in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The statement of fact states that he was among the thousands of rioters who swarmed in and around the Capitol on Jan. 6 following a rally by then-President Donald Trump. He asked his supporters to help him fight against the confirmation of Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election. A joint congressional session met that day to confirm Biden’s victory.
The statement of fact states that video footage from the Capitol shows Grillo climbing through a broken window around 2:30 p.m. that day and then holding a megaphone.
Another surveillance video shows Grillo in the rotunda and among rioters trying to enter a room that contains doors leading outside, “where more protesters have gathered”.
Those doors were ultimately opened by other members of the crowd pushing against Capitol police officers who were trying to keep the doors closed, the document says.
In YouTube footage shot right outside the Capitol, Grillo was seen among a crowd shouting “Fight for Trump”.
“This crowd was involved in a physical confrontation with uniformed officers at the entrance,” the document said. “Grillo was near the crowd. The crowd, including Grillo, was eventually driven back from the door when officers used a chemical irritant.”
The document states that Grillo posted a short video from “Donald J. Trump” ‘s Facebook page on his own page on Nov. 11.
“Trump’s entry was with” WE WILL WIN! “And a short video that says believing in the impossible,” the document says.