Feds: Rochester man smashed window during US Capitol riot

Dominic Pezzola Photo: FBI. Dominic Pezzola

Updated: January 15, 2021 11:07 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 01:49 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Federal prosecutors say a Rochester man who smashed windows at the U.S. Capitol during the violent insurrection last week planned to return with other armed men to "kill every single m-fer" he can. 

Federal documents filed Friday charge Dominic Pezzola, 43, with the destruction of government property, being on restricted buildings or grounds, and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Pezzola, who also goes by "Spaz", is accused of smashing in a window at the U.S. Capitol using a riot shield and crawling through the window to get inside. 

A witness interviewed by the FBI said Pezzola later bragged about smashing the window. According to the witness, Pezzola said he and others would have killed "anyone they got their hands on," including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence.

The group allegedly said it would be returning on the “20th” and planned to "kill every single 'm-fer' they can." FBI agents take this to mean the date of the presidential Inauguration, although the witness later said the group did not have a specific date for returning

Investigators say Pezzola previously attended a pro-Trump Proud Boys rally in Washington D.C. in December. He was allegedly seen at the event wearing a Proud Boys shirt.

Pezzola Affidavit Redacted by News10NBC on Scribd

The FBI conducted "court-ordered activity" at Pezzola's home on Lake Avenue in the Charlotte neighborhood in the city of Rochester. The team of around four to eight agents left at around 2:30 p.m. and took several bags worth of evidence with them.

Some people in the neighborhood say they saw the federal agents walking in and out of the home, but were unaware at the time that they were investigating Pezzola.

One man News10NBC spoke to said he thinks Pezzola deserves what coming to him.

"People who ransacked the Capitol Building, they should all go to prison," John Allen said. "I mean they should all go to prison."

Longtime Lake Avenue resident Neal Budd had this to say about the situation.

"It's a shame, but there's no alleging about it," Budd said. "I have family that worked in the White House, and they're probably rolling in their grave right now. This was a complete tyranny, in sedition. It's just horrible."

Our crew at the scene also reports seeing some Rochester Police Department activity in the neighborhood throughout the evening.

Pezzola turned himself in Friday morning and appeared in federal court Friday afternoon. He will remain in custody at Livingston County until a bail hearing in Washington, D.C. The date of the bail hearing has not been announced, though his lawyer, Mike Scibetta, estimates it will be some time in the middle of next week. Though, Scibetta says ultimately, it's up to the U.S. Marshals Service.

"That is entirely up to the U.S. Marshals," Scibetta said. "We have waived the immediacy of a preliminary hearing here in the Western District. That issue will be addressed, scheduling of a preliminary hearing, detention hearing if need be in the D.C. District Court."

Scibetta, spoke with News10NBC Chief Investigative reporter Berkeley Brean.

Brean: "I just read the part of the complaint involving the witness accounts and description. Have you read that part?"

Scibetta: "I have. I think it's maybe paragraph 13, 12 or 13."

Brean: "That's pretty scary stuff."

Scibetta: "Well, to be clear there were people in an unorganized fashion all in the same place at the same time shouting various things. I think if you read that carefully, the comments about let's kill all those... was not attributed to my client. But attributed to apparently somebody in the crowd."

Brean: "What can you tell me about Dominic Pezzola? What do you know about him?" 

Scibetta: "Aquinas grad. Good athlete. Joined the Marine Corps. Honorably discharged after six years. Owns his own business. Hard-working guy. Family man. He has children. No prior criminal record. I guess you could say, if in fact, this was him doing what's alleged, out of character."

Scibetta also told Brean he is not aware of anyone else in Rochester being arrested in connection to the Capitol riot.

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