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Society

New York Man Charged in “Adventure” During Capitol Breach

January 14, 2021

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse man who acknowledged taking pictures in the U.S. Capitol during last week's siege as part of what he called a "little adventure" was arrested on two federal misdemeanor charges, according to court documents.

Albert Ciarpelli, 65, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds.

Ciarpelli's lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Ciarpelli told federal agents several days ago he entered the Capitol through a partially opened door and characterized his more than 15 minutes walking through the building and taking pictures as a "little adventure." He eventually thought it was best to leave. 

Thinking back, Ciarpelli told agents "that he was out of his mind and had never done anything like that before," according to court documents. 

He was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before a judge in upstate New York and released. He is due back to court in Washington on Jan. 25, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick told The Post-Standard of Syracuse.

Ciarpelli was captured in news and surveillance photographs inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 breach, and photos of him were released by the FBI and police.

Also arrested Wednesday was a western New York man who told a Buffalo TV station he tried to light media equipment, including Associated Press broadcast gear, on fire as a "symbolic gesture" outside the U.S. Capitol.

Peter J. Harding was arrested hours after the FBI confirmed that agents conducted "court authorized" activity at his home in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga when he was not there. 

Harding did not respond to email and telephone messages, nor did he respond to a Facebook message seeking comment before his arrest Wednesday. 

His attorney, Jason DiPasquale, told WIVB-TV that the charges his client faces are unclear. Harding is expected to appear in federal court in Buffalo Thursday afternoon.

Harding appears in photos and video inside the Capitol Jan. 6 and outside, where he is seen using a lighter to attempt to set fire to a pile of media equipment.

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