JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Neptune Beach man arrested Tuesday in connection with an altercation during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that left an officer “visibly injured” appeared before a federal judge in Jacksonville on Wednesday. He wore a shirt with an American flag on the sleeve.
Daniel Paul Gray, 41, is charged with federal offenses that include forcibly assaulting, resisting, impeding and interfering with police; engaging in acts of physical violence in the Capitol building; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
A magistrate set a $25,000 bond and an identity hearing was scheduled for Monday. If it is verified Gray is the person seen bodycam video assaulting the officer, he’ll next have to appear before a judge in Washington, D.C.
According to court documents, Gray was one of the first people to try and break through police lines. Once inside the Capitol Rotunda, bodycam video shows that he grabbed the baton of an officer trying to stop the rioters and push her, causing her to fall down a set of stairs and be visibly injured.
According to court documents, Gray posted a four-minute video to his Instagram account where he appeared to be walking through an airport and describing his activities at the Capitol on Jan. 6. In the video, according to prosecutors, Gray said: “We start pushing the police out the back of the Capitol; we pushed them from the front to the back of the Capitol.”
Prosecutors said he also described how the group arrived at the staircase and started “pushing them [the police] down the staircase,” and also said, “This is far from over, that was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and stay tuned.” In social media messages Gray sent after Jan. 6, he said, “Lol I was one of the first in the capital,” according to prosecutors.
If Gray is convicted of all the charges against him, he could face 37½ years in prison and pay a $1,065,000 fine.
According to National Public Radio, at least 40 of more than 430 people charged after the Jan. 6 riots were from Florida. The resulting criminal investigation is considered one of the largest in American history.