Wisconsin man accused of pepper-spraying police at US Capitol on Jan. 6 pleads guilty

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Sep 18, 2023

MADISON — A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty Friday to a federal assault charge after being accused of bragging in a social media message that he pepper-sprayed police officers so severely during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol that they had to undress.

Prosecutors charged 24-year-old Riley Kasper, of Pulaski, in March 2022 with counts in federal court that included assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, and entering a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Prosecutors said in a statement that Kasper pleaded guilty Friday to the assault charge. He will be sentenced in December.

According to court documents, Kasper carried a canister of what investigators believe was pepper spray during the attack at the Capitol building. He declared in a social media message to another person later that day that he “pepper sprayed 3 cops so bad they got undressed and went home.” He also said that he was among a group that broke through a gate and chased police officers down.

The next day he communicated on social media that “there is definitely something satisfying about pepper spraying cops in riot gear.”

Kasper's attorney, listed in online court records as Michael Lawlor, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Hundreds of people stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s win over Republican Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential election. Trump spent the intervening months insisting without evidence that Biden had somehow stolen the election. Federal prosecutors indicted the former president this past August on felony charges for allegedly working to overturn the election results and block the peaceful transfer of power.

Law enforcement officers have arrested more than 1,146 people across the country in connection with the insurrection at the Capitol. About 400 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.