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BURLINGTON — A Southern Vermont man has been arrested in Rutland on eight felony charges, including assaulting several law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

William Arthur Nichols, Jr., 41, who authorities identified as being from Manchester, is charged in a criminal complaint that said his actions and the conduct of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress meeting to count the electoral votes in 2020 the presidential election.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Nichols is from Manchester, but he wrote Rutland as his hometown when it came time for him to sign his release papers in federal court in Burlington on Wednesday afternoon.

Nichols is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon.

He also is charged with engaging in both physical violence and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or building; .and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or building.

Nichols self-surrendered to the FBI in Rutland for the arrest warrant that was issued on Jan. 20 by Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Nichols was brought to U.S. District Court in Burlington for his removal hearing to Washington, D.C.

Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford agreed to release Nichols on conditions, including that he attend a Feb. 9 court hearing in his Washington, D.C. case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella did not object to the release of Nichols. Besides Nichols agreeing to self-surrender, officials in Washington, D.C. were not looking for his detention.

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According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Nichols was among a mob illegally gathering on the west front of the Capitol grounds. Nichols can be seen on several occasions engaging in violent interactions with police officers, the FBI said.

After approaching a line of police officers who were protecting the Capitol building, Nichols worked his way to the front of the rioters while wielding a large circular shield, the FBI said. They said Nichols used the shield to push and hit officers over the course of several hours.

During the disturbance, one of the rioters interviewed a man with brown hair with a brown circle beard, and wearing a camouflage jacket with a tan combat vest over the jacket, the FBI said.

The man spoke directly to the camera and stated, in part, “I’m Arthur Nichols, Jr. I’m from the Socialist Paradise of Vermont.”

The 12-page affidavit by FBI Special Agent Michael Willis included 19 photographs that help support the charges.

The FBI said it compared the video to a picture from a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to confirm the identity of Nichols.

In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said. It includes more than 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

The investigation remains ongoing.

At least one other known Vermonter has been charged in connection with the insurrection. Nicholas Languerand, 27, formerly of Wolcott, was sentenced in January 2022 to serve a 44-month prison term for assaultive behavior toward police, records show.


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