Sometimes national news hits close to home.  A Wisconsin man was arrested in Ashland on March 16 for his activities in the attack of the United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Charges have been filed against Riley D. Kasper - a native of Pulaski, Wisconsin, for his role on that date.  According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the 23 year old Kasper is being charged "in the criminal complain filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon to inflict bodily injury, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds and related offenses."

At the core of the charges is the fact that "Kasper is accused of being among the crowd that breached the Capitol and disrupted a joint session of Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election".

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Kasper has already made his first court appearance - on March 17 - in federal court in Madison, before Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker. As per the details of the charges, Kasper is expected to be "released from custody on a GPS monitor."  According to court documents, Kasper must meet the following conditions to ensure his release:

"[n]o travel outside of the continental U.S.; no firearms, destructive devices or other weapons; and he must stay away from the District of Columbia unless for court."

The details of Kaspers' actions and communications from the District of Columbia on January 6 include:

  • Spraying an aerosol canister of what is believed to be pepper spray towards law enforcement  officers who were attempting to secure the Capitol building
  • Declaring on social media "I pepper sprayed three cops so bad they got undressed and went home".  "I basically organized my own little militia and we....took over Congress".
  • He additionally added "[a]s you can see in that video, it was my group that busted the first gate and kept chasing the cops down and pushing them back at the Capitol".
  • In another communication on Facebook, Kasper stated that the January 6 activities at the Capitol were "like the most real version of paintball ever".
  • Later, in another communication, Kasper observed: "We're gonna be the hero's [sic] of the battle bro.  We're gonna bring our paintball guns with ....pepper balls, a can of bear spray each, a baton, taser, and my extension ladder.  I'm on a path with those Capitol police now."
  • Stating in a communication the day after to an acquaintance:  "You charge that line and start spraying they start running for cover like you're coming at them with an ak.....there is definitely something satisfying about pepper spraying cops in riot gear".

The arrest in Ashland of Riley D. Kasper brings the investigation of his activities on January 6 full circle.  More than 775 people have been arrested "in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement".

Kasper's initial appearance in federal court in the District of Columbia will happen on March 22 via Zoom.

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