A North Carolina man, identified as Brett Alan Rotella, also known as Brett Ostrander, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. The arrest was made on Tuesday, and the charges against Rotella include assaulting law enforcement. The Justice Department announced the arrest on Wednesday.
Authorities claim that Rotella was one of the first rioters to forcefully enter a long walkway into the Capitol. Surveillance footage shows him leading others inside while carrying a flagpole. Once inside, he allegedly grabbed police riot shields and pushed against officers to force his way into the building through a smashed glass door.
After being sprayed in the face with a chemical spray, Rotella retreated out of the walkway. However, he later returned to participate in a crowd effort to force rioters into the walkway against police.
Rotella was identified after the FBI posted his photo on its website, seeking help in identifying him. He was tracked to a residence in Kannapolis and an Aldi grocery store. As of Thursday, he did not have an attorney listed.
According to the Justice Department, over 1,106 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol incident, with more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.