Western Pennsylvania man facing robbery, assault in Capitol riot

  • The Associated Press

(Pittsburgh) — Federal prosecutors say a Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, man has been arrested on assault, robbery and other charges for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Robert Morss was arrested Friday and was scheduled for a first appearance in federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon. According to court documents released Friday, Morss was identified by witnesses who told investigators he was a Penn State University graduate and a veteran who may have mental health issues from his military service.

Federal investigators say throughout the siege on the Capitol, Morss rallied, directed and made multiple attempts to organize members of the crowd to push past Capitol guards. Federal investigators included photos of Morss dressed in fatigues trying to take a baton from an officer, trying to take shields, trying to force a flagpole from a guard and trying to wrestle fencing from the grip of an officer.

They say he can be seen directing others to disable cameras, and organized rioters to form a wall with the stolen officer shields that would eventually be used to crush a guard against the doors.

Authorities said they were able to identify Morss from multiple high definition news photos taken of him during the rally and later the riot, including several where scissors and a knife can be seen tucked inside his tactical vest.

Morss is facing charges of assault, resisting or impeding officers, robbery of U.S. property, civil disobedience and obstruction of official proceedings. No attorney information for Morss was listed in the court documents released by prosecutors.

NPR’s Investigative and News Apps teams have published a database of everyone arrested so far in connection with the Capitol Riot. This area of reporting is ongoing, and the database is being updated.

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