A New Jersey man who was standing beside an Air Force veteran as she was fatally shot by cops while storming the U.S. Capitol last week has been arrested and charged for his role in the riot.
Thomas Baranyi, 28, featured in a widely circulated interview filmed in the aftermath of the death of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt.
He showed the camera Babbitt’s blood still on his hands after he rushed to save her when she was shot by Capitol police for breaching the building.
Yet the with WUSA9 helped FBI agents track Baranyi down after he gave his name and home state before explaining how he had been among those who ‘stormed the chambers’ and ‘tore through the scaffolding’ to get inside.
The interview was cited by the FBI in an affidavit as he was arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct and being in a restricted building.
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Thomas Baranyi, 28, was tracked down by the FBI after giving the interview above the WUSA9 in the aftermath of Ashli Babbitt’s death. A grab of the interview was included in court documents which showed Baranyi showing Babbitt’s blood on his hands, pictured
The FBI identified Baranyi as this man pictured inside the Capitol during the riot
He had been standing directly beside Ashli Babbitt, pictured right, when she was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol cop for trying to climb through a window to get further into the building
Very important video.
1. He gives his name as Thomas Barani (spelling?) of New Jersey.
2. He admits to not only storming the Capitol, but breaking deep into the halls of Congress.
3. He saw Ashli Babbitt get killed and explains precisely what got her killed. pic.twitter.com/yoUP6WLySC
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 7, 2021
Baranyi appeared in court on Tuesday where he did not dispute that he was the person featured in the video interview.
Baranyi, who is reported to have been a member of the Peace Corps, will now have his case moved to D.C. where all the cases involving the Capitol rampage are being handled, according to NJ.com.
He may face more serious charges for his actions once the case reaches a D.C. court.
Newark U.S. District Judge Cathy Waldor released Baranyi on $100,000 unsecured bond and he is barred from entering any government buildings.
In the video that aided his arrest, Baranyi shows the reporter Babbitt’s blood on his hand as he described with shock how he had witnessed her shooting. At the time, he was unsure if she was alive or dead.
‘Well, we had stormed into the chambers inside, and there was a young lady who rushed to the windows; a number of police and Secret Service were saying, “Get back, get down, get out of the way”,’ he said.
‘She didn’t heed the call and as we kind of raced up to grab people and pull them back, they shot her in the neck, and she fell back on me.
‘She started saying she was fine, it’s cool, and then she started moving weird and blood was coming out of her mouth and neck and nose,’ Baranyi added.
He said that riot police came and ushered them away ‘with their sticks’ as he blasted the government for shooting at those breaking into the federal buildings.
‘[W]e tore through the scaffolding, through flash bangs and tear gas, and blitzed our way in through all the chambers just trying to get into Congress or whoever we could get in to and tell them that we need some kind of investigation into this,’ he said in the interview.
‘And what ends up happening is that someone might have ended up dead and that’s not the kind of government we can have. Someone has to do something about it. I’m not injured. It could have been me, but she went first.
Video showed Babbitt climbing through a broken window seconds before she was shot with Barnyi in the black cap and blue hoodie pictured standing in front of her
Baranyi is again seen here by the door taking videos inside the Capitol
‘This, this cannot stand anymore. This is wrong, they don’t represent anyone, not Republican, Democrat, Independent, nobody and now they just kill people,’ Baranyi continued outraged.
‘Police, Congressmen and women, they don’t care. I mean, they think we’re a joke. $2,000 dollar checks were a joke to them,’ he said.
‘You know, there’s people filming us, laughing at us, as we march down the street. At the Department of Justice, there was a man in the window laughing at us, filming us.’
‘And here it was a joke to them until we got inside, and then all of the sudden guns came out,’ Baranyi added.
‘But I mean, we’re at a point now, it can’t be allowed to stand. We have to do something. People have to do something.’
He stopped again to show Babbitt’s blood on his hand to the camera, adding: ‘People, this could be you or your kids.’
During the interview, Baranyi was wearing a blue New York Giants sweatshirt, black baseball cap and backpack.
A man wearing the same clothing has been pictured standing beside Babbitt after she was shot and standing inside the hallway before her death.
FBI agent Cassidy Vreeland wrote in the arrest affidavit that federal agents had reviewed other videos showing before and after the shooting.
Baranyi was arrested in Ewing, New Jersey, after the FBI confirmed his identity with his driver’s license photo.
He was charged with ‘knowingly and willfully’ joining a crowd of individuals who ‘forcibly entered the U.S. Capitol and impeded, disrupted, and disturbed the orderly conduct of business by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.’
According to the NJ.com, Baranyi’s father claimed in a Facebook post that he graduated from the College of New Jersey; joined the Peace Corps before being discharged; and also went into basic training for the U.S. Marine Corps but was also discharged.
The post notes that he has not seen his son in person since 2017.
According to the NJ.com, this post is from Barnyi’s father is which he reveals that the 28-year-old was in the Peace Corps and Marine basic training but was dismissed by both
Baranyi is pictured left on the phone as Capitol police tried to clear the builiding Wednesday
Babbitt died on January 6 after she was shot in the chest by a police officer while breaking into the Capitol buildings.
She was one of five fatalities from the violence. Three other Trump loyalists died after suffering medical emergencies and a Capitol police officer was killed after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher thrown by a rioter.
The FBI is hunting for a man in connection with the death who was seen in video of the rioters throwing a fire extinguisher.
Criminal charges have so been brought against 70 people from across the country after last Wednesday’s raid by Trump supporters.
‘The scope and scale of this investigation in these cases is really unprecedented,’ said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin for the District of Columbia on Tuesday afternoon.
‘The Capitol is essentially a crime scene,’ said Sherwin. ‘We’re going to have I believe hundreds of criminal cases.’