Because of what they did during the break-in at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, two men from Illinois have been caught on felony and misdemeanor charges. They and other people’s actions messed up a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was set up to find and count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election.
Three counts of illegal property damage have been brought against Justin LaGesse, 37, and Theodore Middendorf, 36, both of McLeansboro, Illinois. The charges were made public in the District of Columbia. LaGesse and Middendorf are also charged with misdemeanors for entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, acting disorderly and disruptively in a restricted building or grounds, physically assaulting someone in a restricted building or grounds, acting disorderlyly in a Capitol building, physically assaulting someone on Capitol grounds or buildings, and entering, picketing, or demonstrating in a Capitol building.
LaGesse and Middendorf were taken by the FBI in Illinois yesterday. They will be brought before the Southern District of Illinois for the first time.
Court papers say that Justin LaGesse broke into the U.S. Capitol building illegally on January 6, 2021, at about 2:51 p.m. through a broken window next to the Senate Wing Door. LaGesse then helps Middendorf get in through the same broken window. LaGesse had a yellow Gadsden flag with him, and Middendorf had an American flag. Following their entrance into the building, the two made their way to the Crypt while carrying their own flags.
After going through the Crypt, they went south into the Capitol on the side of the House of Representatives. It was about 3:01 p.m. when the guys walked by the emergency exit through the House Wing Door. Middendorf seemed to be recording the event on his cell phone. After that, they went to the Hall of Columns and finally left the Capitol through the South Door.
When LaGesse and Middendorf got out of the Capitol, they went up to a group of Metropolitan Police Department officers who were standing behind a roadblock made of bike racks. From what the court records show, LaGesse called the cops “f— traitors” and “f— communist scum.”
The two then went around the building to the north side of the Capitol, where they found a group of attackers trying to get in through the north door. Around 4:09 p.m., as police tried to stop the rioters, LaGesse and Middendorf walked up to a big window to the left of the North door and hit it several times with their flagpoles, damaging it in several places. When he failed to break the window, Middendorf walked east to another window and hit it once with his stick.
The Architect of the Capitol found that both Middendorf and LaGesse hit the window, which received $41,315.25 in damage. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division are both working on this case. The office of the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Illinois was very helpful.
The Springfield Field Office and the Washington Field Office of the FBI are looking into this case. Both the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department were very helpful.
Since January 6, 2021, the breach of the U.S. Capitol, more than 1,265 people have been charged in almost all 50 states with crimes connected to it. More than 440 of those people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, which is a felony. The probe is still going on.