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Princeton student charged with joining mob's Capitol attack

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN Associated Press,

2023-03-14

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A Princeton University student was arrested Tuesday on charges that he joined other rioters in pushing against police officers guarding an entrance to the U.S. Capitol during a mob's attack, court records show.

Larry Fife Giberson, 21, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, was at the front line of the mob's fight against police in a tunnel when one of the officers was briefly crushed between rioters and tunnel doors, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. Giberson waved other rioters into the tunnel before joining a second round of “heave ho” pushing against police, the agent said.

Giberson tried in vain to start a chant of “Drag them out!” and then cheered on rioters using weapons and pepper spray against police in the tunnel, according to the FBI. Giberson remained in that area for roughly an hour on Jan. 6, 2021, the affidavit says.

Giberson was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, on charges including a felony count of civil disorder, according to a court filing. He faces four other counts including engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.

A federal magistrate judge ordered Giberson's release from custody after his initial court appearance in Washington on Tuesday.

Charles Burnham, an attorney for Giberson, declined to comment on the charges.

University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss said in an email Tuesday that Giberson is currently enrolled at Princeton as an undergraduate.

“We don’t have anything to add beyond that,” Hotchkiss wrote.

Giberson was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and a Trump flag around his neck when he joined the mob's assault on police officers in a tunnel on the Capitol's Lower West Terrance, the affidavit says.

The FBI posted images of Giberson on social media to seek the public's help in identifying him. Online sleuths also posted mages of Giberson online using the “#DragThemOut” hashtag moniker.

Investigators matched photos of Giberson from the Capitol to several images found on Instagram and Princeton University's website, the FBI agent said. The FBI interviewed Giberson at the Princeton Police Department in the presence of an attorney before his arrest.

Approximately 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot, which disrupted the joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden's electoral victory.

The FBI agent's affidavit doesn't say whether Giberson attended the “Stop the Steal” rally where then-President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters on Jan. 6.

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