| Portsmouth Herald
A grand jury in Washington, D.C., delivered a 10-count indictment Friday against Kyle Fitzsimons, the 37-year-old Maine man accused of assaulting police during a violent breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Fitzsimons, a Lebanon resident, was arrested last month without incident on charges stemming from the Jan. 6 insurrection, which had temporarily halted the counting of Electoral College votes to formalize then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The grand jury indictment, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and which adds to the initial charges Fitzsimons faced, alleges that he impeded and inflicted bodily injuries on two law enforcement officers: a Capitol Police sergeant identified by the initials “A.G.” and a Metropolitan Police Department detective identified by the initials “P.N.”
Additionally, the indictment alleges that Fitzsimons obstructed an official proceeding of Congress and committed violence in a restricted area where both then-Vice President Mike Pence and then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were visiting temporarily.
Prosecutors allege Fitzsimons was seen pushing and grabbing officers who were holding a police line in an arched entranceway on the lower west terrace of the Capitol building, according to an affidavit filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. The affidavit cites surveillance footage and includes images that prosecutors say show Fitzsimons’ participation. After being struck by officers’ batons, Fitzsimons lowered his shoulder and charged at the line of officers, the affidavit states.
Fitzsimons is among hundreds facing federal criminal charges over the incident, which became the basis for the second impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, who was accused of inciting the insurrection but acquitted.
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Fitzsimons recounted his experience at the Capitol in an interview with The Rochester Voice. He also spoke Jan. 7 about his experience during a Lebanon Board of Selectmen meeting. In both the interview and his comments to the selectmen, Fitzsimons claimed he was pushed into the police who were guarding the Capitol.
Fitzsimons recited conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during the selectmen meeting, during which he falsely claimed widespread fraud was to blame for Biden’s win. He claimed “provocateurs,” not Trump supporters, were to blame for the violent riot.
“This is a great game being played, and I know for a fact that I was a pawn,” he said. “I am very concerned for this country and where we are headed next.”
One of the confidential sources interviewed by the FBI told authorities in late January that Fitzsimons was a current employee of the Hannaford supermarket in York, according to court records.
Ericka Dodge, a spokesperson for the Maine-based supermarket chain, declined to say whether Fitzsimons had ever worked for Hannaford but confirmed that he is currently not an employee. Dodge described Jan. 6 as “a dark and sad day for our country,” broadly condemning violence, white supremacy, racism and xenophobia.
The confidential source told the FBI also that Fitzsimons was vocal about his political beliefs and known to hold racist views. Fitzsimons expressed some of those racist views publicly in 2018 during a legislative hearing about funding for an education center in Lewiston that would cater to the city’s immigrant population, as Nathan Bernard and Andy O’Brien reported Friday for the Mainer News Cooperative.
“You’re bringing in the new Third World, you’re bringing in the replacements,” Fitzsimons said during the hearing, reciting the central message of the racist far-right “great replacement” conspiracy theory.
After news of Fitzsimons’ arrest became public, Maine State Rep. Michele Meyer, D-Eliot, shared that she had an unnerving run-in with Fitzsimons in 2019, when he cornered her in a parking lot to ask her how she would vote on a piece of gun safety legislation. Concerns raised by Meyer prompted a security review at the Maine State House.
Efforts to reach Fitzsimons, his attorney and his personal contacts for comment have been unsuccessful.