January 6. North Kingstown Rhode Island rioter arrested by FBI

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WASHINGTON — A North Kingstown man was arrested on Wednesday for felony charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, federal officials said.

Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with civil disorder, felony and related misdemeanors.

He was arrested in North Kingstown. He appeared Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Providence and was released on an unsecured bond of $10,000. He had to give up custody of his 12 guns and his passport, and is not allowed to travel outside of the continental United States.

He was ordered to appear in person in federal court in Washington, DC on July 7.

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According to court documents, on January 6, Sirr was among the rioters who illegally entered the grounds of the Capitol. Dressed in a tan and black baseball cap with a snake on it, a blue neck warmer, glasses and a coat, Sirr joined a line of rioters who were engaged in a confrontation with law enforcement officers order in the Lower West Terrace tunnel area.

At around 3:08 p.m., a video shows Sirr entering the tunnel. Officials say in video taken inside the tunnel, Sirr is at the front of the police line pushing against rioters who are assaulting officers. He is seen pushing against the police line with his hand leaning against a police shield. He also participated in a struggle in which a group of rioters chanted “Heave! Ho!” in unison as they moved together as a team against the officer.

Warning video contains extreme language and violence

Sirr is a state employee who works at the University of Rhode Island’s Bay Campus in Narragansett as a nuclear facilities engineer for the RI Atomic Energy Commission. The commission operates Rhode Island’s only nuclear reactor.

According to state records, Sirr has an annual salary of $82,009.

He is the second Rhode Islander to be charged in connection with the Capitol riot. Timothy Desjardins, of Providence, was charged in November with assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers from using a dangerous weapon or causing bodily harm; civil disorder; enter restricted area with a dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in buildings or grounds with restricted access; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and demonstrate in a Capitol building.

Email Tom Mooney at: [email protected]

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