Southern Vermont man arrested in connection to Jan. 6 Capitol breach | Local News
BURLINGTON — A southern Vermont man has been arrested in Rutland for eight felonies, including assaulting multiple law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6, 2021 violation of the U.S. Capitol.
William Arthur Nichols, Jr., 41, who authorities identified as a native of Manchester, is charged in a criminal complaint alleging his actions and the behavior of others disrupted a joint session of the US Congress to determine electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election to count choice.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Nichols was from Manchester, but he wrote Rutland as his hometown when it came time for him to sign his discharge papers in federal court in Burlington on Wednesday afternoon.
Nichols is accused of assaulting, resisting, or obstructing officers; civil unrest; Entering and staying in a restricted federal building or property with a dangerous weapon; and disorderly and disruptive behavior in a restricted building or compound with a dangerous weapon.
He is also accused of committing both physical violence and disruptive behavior in a restricted building or compound with a dangerous weapon; obstructing passage through Capitol grounds or buildings; .and committing an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings.
Nichols turned himself in to the FBI in Rutland for the arrest warrant, which was issued Jan. 20 by Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui. He was brought before US District Court in Burlington to hear his deportation to Washington, DC
Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford approved Nichols’ release on conditions including attending a Feb. 9 court hearing in his case in Washington, DC.
Assistant US Attorney Joseph Perella did not object to Nichols’ release. Aside from Nichols agreeing to self-abandonment, officials in Washington, D.C. were not seeking his incarceration.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Nichols was part of a mob that gathered illegally on the west front of the Capitol grounds. Nichols has been seen in violent altercations with police officers on several occasions, the FBI said.
After approaching a line of police officers guarding the Capitol, Nichols worked his way in front of the rioters with a large circular shield, the FBI said. They said Nichols used the shield to stab and punch officers over a period of several hours.
During the riots, one of the rioters interviewed a man with brown hair and a brown circle beard wearing a camouflage jacket with a tan combat vest over the jacket, the FBI said.
Speaking directly into the camera, the man explained in part, “I’m Arthur Nichols, Jr. I’m from the socialist paradise of Vermont.”
FBI Special Agent Michael Willis’ 12-page affidavit included 19 photos supporting the charges.
The FBI said it compared the video to an image from a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to confirm Nichols’ identity.
In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the violation of the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said. It includes more than 284 people charged with assault or obstructing law enforcement. The investigations are ongoing.
At least one other known Vermonter has been charged in connection with the riot. Nicholas Languerand, 27, formerly of Wolcott, was sentenced to 44 months in jail for assaulting police in January 2022, records show.