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Maine Man Accused Of Assault In Capitol Riot Makes First Appearance

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Kyle Fitzsimons, the Lebanon, Maine, resident arrested Thursday for his alleged role in the Capitol Hill riots last month, made his first appearance before a federal judge Friday afternoon.

In a videoconference, federal magistrate John Rich enumerated the charges against Fitzsimons, as well as his rights.

In an orange prison shirt and with a white surgical mask dangling from one ear, the bearded Fitzsimons thanked the judge for “graciously” assigning him a federal defender, Bangor attorney James Nixon. Federal prosecutor Craig Wolff told the judge the government would seek to detain Fitzsimons while the case is adjudicated.

Fitzsimons will seek bail, and a bail hearing is now set for next Thursday. He faces four charges, including allegedly assaulting a federal officer as a crowd of rioters rushed a police line under a Capitol building archway. That felony charge carries a maximum sentence of eight years.

Fitzsimons is being held in the Cumberland County jail. The case may ultimately be transferred to federal court in Washington, D.C.

Portland police also said late Friday afternoon they believe Fitzsimons is responsible for placing a suspicious package outside the Portland Museum of Art last month. Lt. Robert Martin says the department has turned the facts of that case over to the state district attorney, but no charges have been filed.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.