Williamsburg man accused of hitting Capitol officers with stick during Jan. 6 riot

Jonathan Gennaro Mellis
Posted at 11:33 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 14:28:00-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A man was arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI in Williamsburg.

34-year-old Jonathan Gennaro Mellis has been charged with offenses connected with the riots that happened at the Capitol building on January 6.

Court documents showed that Mellis was charged with forcible assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate or interfere officers and aiding and abetting, civil disorder, restricted building or grounds, violent entry or disorderly conduct, obstruct or impede passage and engage in physical violence on Capitol grounds. He was also charged with obstruction of justice/Congress.

On January 6 as Congress was certifying the vote count of the Electoral College, a crowd forced their way into the Capitol building, broke windows and assaulted members of the U.S. Capitol Police. Court records that describe the day also say others in the crowd were encouraging and assisting in these acts.

Video footage which appeared to be taken on mobile phones surfaced and shows people breaking federal law inside the Capitol.

Court documents said Mellis was one of the people identified by photos on social media. Two people who personally knew Mellis spoke with the FBI and submitted screen shots from Mellis' personal Facebook page (named Jon Gennaro).

In the photos Mellis can be seen wearing a large white cowboy hat with a design on it and thick black glasses as well as a black quilted jacket. Law enforcement said photos showed Mellis at different locations and approaching the Capitol.

Photos provided in the U.S. District Court Criminal Complaint of Jonathan Mellis

Court documents go on to say Mellis' Facebook posts said "Storming the Castle. The world heard US!!! Finally not ignored." and "We proudly take responsibility for storming the castle," among other posts.

Video footage from police body cameras showed Mellis along with other people using sticks and other items as weapons to assault officers protecting the Capitol, court documents said. The criminal complaint also said Mellis was seen in the footage taking a stick and saying "Knock their masks off," before the video shows him strike an officer. Another video that law enforcement obtained appeared to show Mellis making contact with officers necks between their helmet and body armor.

Based on the photos and video footage taken, officials said they believe the conduct gives probable cause to believe Mellis violated multiple federal laws.

On Friday Mellis' hearing was waived. He wished to have the hearing in D.C.

Photos provided in the U.S. District Court Criminal Complaint of Jonathan Mellis

Click here to read the entire criminal complaint.