Update: Released on $10,000 bail, has until Wednesday to get all the guns out of his house. Next court hearing is Thursday.
An Athol man was charged today with using a shield to ram police officers as he screamed "traitor!" and "treason!" at them during the failed coup at the Capitol last Jan. 6, the US Attorney's office reports.
Vincent J. Gillespie, 60, was arrested in Athol. Court records state he was quickly reported to the FBI after six people who recognized him - including a former neighbor and the manager of a hardware store he shopped at recognized him in photos the FBI released.
According to the US Attorney's office in Boston:
From at least 4:11 p.m. to at least 4:25 p.m., 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.
Gillespie was to make an appearance in US District Court in Boston on charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds and other offenses. If his case is handled like that of other failed putschists from Massachusetts, his case will be transferred to federal court in Washington for disposition.
According to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case, people who knew Gillespie quickly contacted the FBI to turn him in after the bureau posted photos of him wearing a distinctive Berkshire Nautilus hoodie. People who dropped a dime included a former neighbor, somebody who works at AAA who recognized him from visits to an AAA office, the manager of a hardware store Gillespie shops at and three workers for the town of Athol, "where Gillespie resides and frequently attends meetings and pays his tax bills at the Town Hall."
In June of last year, Gillespie took time out from fretting about Joe Biden to complain about a plan to install parking meters in downtown Athol.
One thing that is really nice about Athol is that you don’t have these nasty parking meter men or ladies running around giving everybody tickets if you’re one minute late. It’s really unpleasant.
Claiming elections were rigged is nothing new for Gillespie. In 2016, after volunteering for the now former president in Keene, NH, he told a reporter people voted for him because "political systems" were "rigged." Also, they voted for him because:
(Trump’s) emphasis on trying to stop the flood of non-white aliens is important. You can put ‘non-white’ down.”
Gillespie wearing a Berkshire Nautilus hoodie outside Capitol:
Complete FBI affidavit (3.7M PDF).