A Capitol Hill, Seattle man captured on video wearing paramilitary style clothing, carrying an “assault type rifle,” and threatening media — and other pro-Trump rioters — during an attempt to enter the Washington governor’s residence the same day as the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. earlier this month has been arrested on the eve of Inauguration Day and faces charges for threats and assaults against reporters during the day’s unrest.
The Washington State Patrol says Damon Huseman, 26, hit at least two members of media with bear spray and threatened to kill a third “within the next year” during his day of rage January 6th on the state’s Capitol campus grounds.
Huseman has been the subject of social media efforts attempting to identify people captured on video during the deadly D.C. actions and the attempted assault on Gov. Jay Inslee’s Olympia residence.
The Summit Ave resident faces charges of two counts of second degree assault for the alleged bear spray attacks and one count of felony harassment.
Charges were filed January 11th and a warrant was issued for his arrest but Huseman wasn’t taken into custody until Tuesday afternoon and was to be booked into jail in Thurston County.
It’s not clear what Huseman’s whereabouts were in the week and a half since the charges were filed and the warrant was issued.
According to the State Patrol report on the January 6th incident, Huseman threatened one media member as she struggled to keep him from taking her phone, telling the state government reporter and the crowd of media he was going to “shoot them dead” within the coming year.
Man with a gun just told me + another journalist that media isn’t wanted here, that he pepper-sprayed members of the media earlier, and we have 5 min to leave. Later said “We’re going to shoot you f***ing dead in the next year.” This vid is all I got as he reached at my phone. pic.twitter.com/yNDgGVx6cT
— Sara Gentzler (@SaraGentzler) January 6, 2021
The reporter told troopers she feared for her safety and moved out of the area near Huseman until media security personnel arrived.
Earlier, troopers said a freelance photographer and an employee of the state’s TVW were also attacked by Huseman.
In the first incident, the photographer told the WSP he was approached at the edge of the state Capitol grounds by a white male wearing a mask and carrying an “assault type rifle. The male told the photographer to leave and that he did not want him there “because he was media.” When the photographer told the male it was a public space and he planned to remain, the male threatened him with bear spray and then sprayed him in the face. The photographer told troopers he was disoriented by the spray and required help from a passerby to get to his vehicle and leave the area, unable to continue his coverage.
The victim was able to later identify his assailant as Huseman after viewing videos on social media, the WSP says.
Moments later, a TVW employee said Huseman yelled at him from across the street to also leave the area because he was media. The TVW producer said he saw the victim from the previous assault and was turning to leave when Huseman also sprayed him in the face. The producer said he was disoriented from the spray as it caused pain to his eyes and face.
Oh Donald…. what have you done… this is not going away any time soon… jesus christ… pic.twitter.com/EdGxanVhqT
— Beardyman (@beardyman) January 7, 2021
Huseman’s arrest comes just hours before Inauguration Day with Washington D.C. on lockdown and with security concerns high around the country as the nation celebrates the start of the Biden-Harris presidency.
It also comes after a Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday signed off on an Extreme Risk Protection Order filed by the WSP. The orders prevent individuals “at high risk of harming themselves or others” from “accessing firearms.” Family, household members, or police can request the orders that must be approved by the court. In Huseman’s filing, the court ordered the defendant to “immediately surrender all firearms and any concealed pistol license” including a listed a black colored “AR style” rifle and a black semi-automatic pistol along with any other firearms in his possession.
CHS does not yet have information about where and how authorities tracked Huseman down and the details of the arrest. The state patrol said it would have more to announce soon.
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