HomeFlorida NewsFlorida participant in Capitol riot arrested on multiple counts

Florida participant in Capitol riot arrested on multiple counts


Tampa, Florida – On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol witnessed a serious breach during a joint session of Congress aimed at certifying the presidential election results. Among those involved was Michael Hennessey, a 38-year-old from Palm Harbor, Florida, who has recently been arrested and faces multiple charges stemming from his actions on that day.

Florida participant in Capitol riot arrested on multiple counts

Arrest and Charges

Michael Hennessey was arrested on May 1 in Florida under a criminal complaint from the District of Columbia.

He is charged with a felony count of civil disorder and several misdemeanors, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and parading, picketing, or demonstrating in a Capitol building.

Hennessey is scheduled to make his initial court appearance in the Middle District of Florida, marking the beginning of the legal proceedings against him.

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The Day of the Breach

Court documents reveal that Hennessey traveled from Florida to Washington, D.C., to participate in the “Stop the Steal” rally. Following the rally, he joined a large crowd that marched to the Capitol. Video evidence places Hennessey at the forefront of the group that first breached the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace, overcoming police barricades and entering through the Senate Wing Door.

Inside the Capitol, Hennessey was actively involved with the mob, chanting and pushing forward through the building. He was among the rioters who overpowered the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) at the Crypt and continued advancing toward critical areas, including the office of the House Majority Leader and the Senate Chamber.

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Actions Within the Capitol

Hennessey’s involvement did not stop at entering the building; he was seen leading charges against police lines and entering restricted areas of the Capitol. His actions contributed to the temporary overwhelming of law enforcement, which struggled to contain the advancing mob. Hennessey spent about 56 minutes inside the Capitol, during which he was recorded taking photographs, recording videos, and pushing against police lines.

After exiting the Capitol, Hennessey continued to demonstrate on the restricted grounds and even interacted with equipment left by fleeing reporters. This continued defiance highlights the extended nature of his participation in the day’s events.

The charges against Hennessey illustrate the consequences of participating in such disruptive actions. The felony count of civil disorder carries significant penalties, reflecting the severity of interfering with governmental functions and law enforcement during a critical moment for U.S. democracy. The additional misdemeanor charges underscore the various legal boundaries crossed during the incident.

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Hennessey’s arrest is part of broader efforts to hold accountable those who participated in the Capitol breach. In the 39 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,385 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 500 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony.

The FBI’s field offices in Tampa and Washington investigated this case.

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