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Queens man and former NYPD officer charged in Capitol seige, federal prosecutors say

An image federal prosecutors say in court papers

An image federal prosecutors say in court papers captures an image Philip Grillo during the Capitol riot. Credit: USANYE

A Queens Republican Party official and a retired New York City police officer were the latest people arrested separately by the FBI for participating in the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6, officials said.

Philip Grillo, 46, of Glen Oaks, the Republican leader in the 24th City Council District, was taken into custody Tuesday morning on charges of entering a restricted building and disrupting "the orderly conduct of government," court papers say.

The former New York City police officer, Thomas Webster, 54, of upstate Orange County, was ordered held without bail as a danger to the community at a removal hearing at federal court in White Plains. He was accused of assaulting a police officer, obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder and a number of other charges, according to officials.

Grillo, who calls himself the "Republican Messiah" on his Facebook page, was released on $100,000 bond at a removal hearing by video and telephone at the federal District Court in Brooklyn.

The 24th City Council district includes Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows, Briarwood, Jamaica and Jamaica Estates.

Jamaica Estates is where President Donald Trump grew up, and on his Facebook page, Grillo calls the 24th "President Trump’s Hometown District."

Grillo was not required to plead to the charges at the hearing, the purpose of which was to establish that he was the person being sought by federal prosecutors in Washington where cases involving the Capitol riot are being tried. The bond conditions limit Grillo’s travels to New York City, Long Island and to Washington only for future court hearings.

According to the complaint, Grillo is seen on videos inside the Capitol as part of crowd that managed to get past three police officers trying to block their movement. At one point, the crowd eventually forced open doors that allowed others "located outside to gain entry to the Capitol," the court papers said.

At another point on the videos, Grillo is with a crowd shouting "Fight for Trump," and which "engaged in a physical confrontation with uniformed officers," the papers say

"The crowd, including Grillo, was eventually driven back … when officers employed a chemical irritant," the papers said.

Agents were initially tipped off to Grillo’s alleged illegal presence inside the Capitol by two unidentified witnesses who saw him on CNN footage of the breach wearing a jacket with the insignia of the Glen Oaks Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, the court papers said.

Pictures in court papers also show Webster, a former Marine, attacking a Capitol police officer with a metal flag pole with a Marine Corps flag attached to it.

Before he strikes at the Capitol officer "numerous times," Webster curses at the officer and calls him a "commie," the court papers say.

Later in the incident, Webster tackles the Capitol officer, pins him down "and straddling him while he tries to forcibly remove [the Capitol officer’s] face shield and gas mask," the court papers say.

In another video from the scene, "Webster says into the camera, ‘Send more patriots. We need some help,' " the papers say.

Webster’s attorney declined to comment after the hearing.

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