PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Providence man on Tuesday became the first Rhode Islander charged in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Timothy Desjardins, 35, of Providence, was charged with six criminal counts including “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon.” Court documents unsealed Tuesday in federal court allege Desjardins used a table leg to repeatedly hit law enforcement officers who were guarding the Capitol.
“During this time, the law enforcement officers were also being assaulted by a crowd of other violent rioters who were also attempting to push themselves into the tunnel and hurling various objects, such as a baton and a table at the officers,” according to the criminal complaint.
Desjardins also faces charges of civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.” He was charged on Nov. 19.
The Providence resident has a lengthy criminal history locally.
Most recently Desjardins was arrested after an armed standoff with Providence police on Federal Hill on Nov. 11. As a result, he was found to be violating terms of his bail from an incident a month before, where police said he shot a man in the head — also on Federal Hill.
Desjardins is currently being held at the ACI in Cranston.
According to the court documents unsealed in Washington, D.C., investigators said they found YouTube videos posted online that showed Desjardins repeatedly striking officers with the broken wooden table leg. The YouTube videos were then compared to body-worn camera footage captured by the officers during the riot, which investigators said allowed them to piece together Desjardins’ alleged actions.
Officers also said they interviewed Desjardins the day after the riot, during the early morning hours of Jan. 7, when he was discovered attempting to “go over the chains” on E Street behind FBI headquarters. Officers said Desjardins told them “he was there,” which they took to mean he was present at the Jan. 6 riot, according to the documents.
Officers also found Desjardins wearing a backpack that matched the backpack he was wearing in photos taken from the Jan. 6 riot. Inside the back were “one or two hatchets with paracord wrapped handles,” according to the complaint, and “Desjardins mentioned that he was good with them.”
Tim White (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
Eli Sherman (email@example.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.
Ted Nesi and Steph Machado contributed to this report.