Raymund Joseph Cholod, a 52-year-old Florida man identified by the Justice Department as hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, was arrested this week for his participation in last year’s Trump-incited Capitol riot, where he repeatedly participated in confrontations with police.
It’s unclear if Cholod ever made it inside the building, but beyond those who did so, prosecutors have also focused on riot participants who joined physical assaults on police officers. Cholod was in the crowd fighting police in the Lower West Terrace tunnel of the Capitol early in the afternoon, about a half an hour after rioters first made it inside the building elsewhere. Available details suggest he helped kickstart the fighting that quickly enveloped that tunnel, around which officers including Michael Fanone (who has since left the force) were attacked and injured.
“At approximately 2:40 p.m., police officers entered a passageway that connected the Lower West Terrace and the interior of the U.S. Capitol building (the “Tunnel”) and began to form a protective line with riot shields behind a set of glass doors inside of the Tunnel,” a court filing in Cholod’s case says. Cholod was in the tunnel within about a minute, making his way to the front of the crowd, where video evidence shows he was essentially face-to-face with officers. “This is our house,” he yelled. “This is our fucking house. They fucking stole it and you fucking know it. They stole it and you know it. They fucking stole it.” Cholod also attempted to wrestle a riot shield from police. Throughout the afternoon, numerous participants in the Capitol violence stole police equipment and used pieces of it against officers. Cholod eventually exited the tunnel, after which point he hurled what photographic evidence indicates was a baton of some sort at police. It appears as though Cholod’s usage of the item directly impacted his charges.
His charges now include assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon. It appears as though the specification in the latter two charges that a dangerous weapon was used makes both felonies. The charge of assaulting officers alone comes with up to eight years in prison if found guilty. In the course of identifying Cholod, authorities consulted a variety of individuals, including a former supervisor and individuals at a hotel where he has previously stayed.
Image: Brett Davis/ Creative Commons