A Backpack Full of Axes and a Wooden Table Leg: Jan. 6 Rioter Was Armed to the Teeth

One of the newest Jan. 6 defendants appears to have been packing quite an arsenal of handheld weapons.

Timothy Desjardins, a barber shop owner from Providence, R.I., stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 with a crowd of fellow Trump supporters, the FBI said. He now faces numerous charges, including assaulting police officers and entering restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon.

Law enforcement officials say Desjardins can be seen in videos of the insurrection assaulting officers with a broken wooden table leg. The morning after the attack, an officer found a backpack Desjardins appeared to be wearing at the Capitol that contained three axes.

According to the FBI statement of facts unsealed Tuesday and reported by HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly, Desjardins appears in YouTube videos of the insurrection wielding “what appears to be a broken wooden table leg” that he used to “assault … multiple law enforcement officers” in a tunnel leading to a Capitol entrance as police were attempting to block rioters from entering.

But Desjardins wasn’t done with his D.C. adventures when the insurrection ended. Around 2 a.m. on Jan. 7, an FBI police officer encountered Jardins trying to scale the “chains on E Street behind FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C.,” equipped with “one or two hatchets with paracord wrapped handles on the side of his dark colored backpack.” The officer interviewed him, and during the conversation, “Desjardins mentioned that he was good with” the axes. But because Desjardins didn’t have any active wants or warrants for his arrest, the officers let them go. In May, an officer reported Desjardins’ identity to the bureau.

Later on the morning of Jan. 7, around 6:30 a.m., someone reported a man had been sleeping in front of an office building in downtown D.C. and left his backpack behind, according to the FBI. A D.C. officer responded and discovered inside the bag “an identification card for Desjardins, two black walkie talkies, three axes, a flashlight, assorted clothing, prescription bottles, and a credit card.” That backpack, the FBI said, “appears to be the backpack that Desjardins was seen wearing and possessing at the United States Capitol” on Jan. 6.

In its statement of facts, the FBI said it further corroborated Desjardins identity using recent mugshots because Desjardins had a few run-ins with law enforcement since Jan. 6. Police in Providence, R.I., arrested him in October and accused him of firing a gun in a Walgreens parking lot, grazing another man’s head with one of the bullets, WJAR reported. According to the police, the confrontation was allegedly over a driving dispute, and Desjardins is not a legal gun owner. He faces a felony assault count and weapons charges for the incident. In November, police said Desjardins attracted more law enforcement attention while out on bail. Officers in Providence doing a routine patrol said they encountered Desjardins with a gun in his hand outside a barber shop he owns, We the People. Seeing the officers, police said Desjardins pointed the gun at them retreated into the shop where he engaged in a near two-hour standoff with law enforcement. He was later charged with five felonies, including two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, for the standoff.

Desjardins now faces a number of additional charges. He was charged on Nov. 19 with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury and civil disorder, as well as entering restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in restricted buildings or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

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