Amherst man charged in U.S. Capitol riot

Daniel Tocci is seen on Capitol video on Jan. 6, 2021, in a still provided by the FBI. The shot is the first of several, beginning at 1:49 p.m., that track Tocci's movements that day around and into the Capitol.

Daniel Tocci is seen on Capitol video on Jan. 6, 2021, in a still provided by the FBI. The shot is the first of several, beginning at 1:49 p.m., that track Tocci's movements that day around and into the Capitol. FBI

By CHAD CAIN

Managing Editor

Published: 11-29-2023 7:42 PM

AMHERST — In conjunction with the Amherst and Hadley police departments, the FBI Boston Division arrested an Amherst man Wednesday on five charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Daniel Tocci was taken into custody without incident on an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia, according to the FBI Boston Division. He is being charged with destruction of government property; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

According to court documents, which include several video images, Tocci entered and remained within the Capitol’s restricted grounds on Jan. 6, 2021 without authorization for a minimum of 90 minutes. Rioters that day sought to disrupt the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Tocci is alleged to have joined a crowd attending a rally that day in Washington, D.C. and is first shown on television footage carrying a large stick while near the Washington Monument at 1:49 p.m., court documents state.

From the area near the monument, Tocci made his way to the U.S. Capitol, and at about 2:25 p.m., he ascended a staircase on the northwest side of the Capitol building. “At this time, Tocci was on restricted grounds,” court documents state.

While walking up the stairs, Tocci allegedly helped other rioters scale the outer wall of the northwest staircase. Once at the top of the staircase, Tocci and fellow rioters reached the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace, where they joined with the crowd and chanted on at least one occasion, “Our House,” court documents say.

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From the Upper West Terrace, rioters broke into the Capital building, including through a door referred to as the Senate Wing Door. That door was breached twice at around 2:13 p.m. and at 2:47 p.m. Tocci entered that door at about 3:18 p.m.

For the next four minutes, he remained inside the Capitol building, spending most of his time near the door he entered and next to the wall. Images in the court documents show Tocci using his phone. At about 3:21 p.m., Tocci moved to his right, away from the door, appeared to say something to an officer, and then exited from the Capitol through a window.

Then at 3:59 p.m., a surveillance camera recorded Tocci outside of the Capitol building near the Senate Wing Door. He is accused of reaching through a broken window and breaking off and removing a portion of the shutter from the window.

Tocci was identified last April by a Hadley police officer when he was shown pictures taken from Capitol video by the FBI. That officer had pulled Tocci over in January for a broken headlight, and the Hadley Police Department shared video of that stop with the FBI in turn.

Tocci’s arrest brings the total number of people arrested by the FBI Boston Division in connection with the riot to 32 from the four New England states it oversees — Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

In addition to the Hadley and Amherst police departments, the FBI Boston office received assistance from the Massachusetts State Police and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.