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The Independent

Bob’s Burgers actor arrested and charged in connection with Jan 6 Capitol riot

By Tom Murray,


Actor Jay Johnston has been arrested by the FBI and charged in connection with the 6 January attack on the US Capitol .

Johnston was best known for his comedic roles in popular US TV shows including Arrested Development and Bob’s Burgers , as well as the sketch series Mr Show .

The actor, who also had a minor role in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) , faces charges of felony obstruction of officers during civil disorder and several misdemeanor offenses, according to court documents .

He was arrested Wednesday (7 June) in Los Angeles , per the documents.

Johnston, 52, allegedly “assisted at least three other rioters by pouring water on the rioters’ faces,” to abate the effects of tear gas. He then used a stolen US Capitol Police shield to battle with police, the documents allege.

“The FBI has interviewed three current or former associates of Johnston, all of whom identified Johnston as the individual in the above photographs of 247-AFO,” the FBI’s complaint reads.

“One of these associates provided the FBI with a text message in which Johnston acknowledged being at the Capitol on January 6, stating ‘The news has presented it as an attack. It actually wasn’t. Thought it kind of turned into that. It was a mess. Got maced and tear gassed and I found it quite untastic.’”

The Independent was unable to find a contact for Johnston.

On 4 March, the FBI shared a pair of photographs of the actor on social media, asking the public to help identify him.

Cassandra Church, an actor who worked with Johnston on the show Harmontown , responded to the tweet saying: “I’m no detective, but I do know Jay. He said he was there. And that’s him in the picture. So…”

According to a 2021 report in The Daily Beast , Johnston was “blacklisted” from Bob’s Burgers after the images were shared by the FBI.

Johnston, a Chicago native, got his break in TV as a sketch actor and writer on all four seasons of Mr Show with Bob and David ,hosted by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross.

He starred in all three seasons of Comedy Central‘s The Sarah Silverman Program as Officer Jay McPherson, the love interest of Sarah’s sister Laura in the series.

In Bob’s Burgers , he played the recurring role of Jimmy Pesto Sr.

Last week, a restaurant owner who screamed death threats directed at then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while storming the US Capitol was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes for their conduct on 6 January 2021. Over 500 of them have been sentenced, with more than half receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from one week to 18 years.

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