The FBI today arrested an Athol man in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election. He is the seventh Massachusetts resident to face charges related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol that led to five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer.
Vincent J. Gillespie, 60, is charged with assaulting law enforcement officials during the breach of the Capitol as well as “resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, engaging in 'physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and related offenses.”
He was apprehended at his home by FBI agents and transferred to the U.S. District Court in Worcester, where he appeared before a judge Friday and was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
The charges againstGillespie are among the most serious that have been filed thus far against more than 750 individuals who have been arrested in nearly all 50 states.
According to the charging documents:
“Gillespie was among rioters in the Lower West Terrance of the Capitol who engaged in pushing, shoving, yelling, and fighting with law enforcement officers. He struggled his way through the crowd, eventually maneuvering through the rioters to the line of police officers defending the Lower West Terrace’s exterior door. At one point, he gained control of a police shield as he approached the officers. Gillespie used the shield to ram the law enforcement officers, continuing to scream 'traitor' and 'treason' at the police. He also grabbed a law enforcement officer by the arm and attempted to pull him into the crowd.”
The FBI’s Boston Western Division Joint Terrorism Task Force and Washington Field Office are digging into Gillespie's background and activities. The ongoing investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the Athol Police Department and State Police.
Tens of thousands of photographs and video were taken during the attempt to shut down the proceedings of the joint session of the U.S. Congress, and Gillespie’s face appeared in several of them. He was identified as #141 on the FBI Washington Field Office’s seeking information photos.
Gillespie is among more than over 235 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
He is the seventh Massachusetts resident arrested for their roles in the attempted election overthrow.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the location of the court where Gillespie was arraigned.