A federal judge will announce Tuesday morning whether a Lebanon man is guilty of assaulting at least three law enforcement officers during the storming of the U.S. Capitol last year.

Kyle Fitzsimons, 38, is charged with 11 counts stemming from the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. He was the first of five people in Maine to be charged with crimes related to the riot. The charges against him include two counts of inflicting bodily injury on officers, one count of using a dangerous or deadly weapon on an officer, as well as civil disobedience and obstruction of justice charges.

Kyle Fitzsimons during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in a photo included in court documents. The image is taken from a security camera at the Capitol. Federal court documents

Fitzsimons’ case will be decided by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in a bench trial; Fitzsimons waived his right to a jury.

Federal prosecutors accuse Fitzsimons of assaulting three officers – Detective Phuson Nguyen and Officer Sarah Beaver of the Metropolitan Police Department, and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police – as well as several other officers who were standing in a line as Fitzsimons charged at them with his fists raised.

Nguyen was the first witness to testify in Fitzsimons’ four-day trial in August. He told the court that Fitzsimons pulled off the detective’s gas mask while another demonstrator aimed what appeared to be bear spray at his face. Fitzsimons then released the mask, and when it snapped back, Nguyen dropped to the ground, choking and burning.

Beaver said that she had already been vomited on and hit by a can of bear spray while defending the Capitol when she was hit in the helmet by an unstrung bow. Prosecutors believe Fitzsimons brought that bow to Washington from Maine, according to photos taken before the violence and comments he made during a local government meeting afterward.


Gonell told the court that Fitzsimons grabbed his shield while he was trying to help another officer. Fitzsimons pulled the shield so hard that it injured his shoulder and he later needed surgery to repair a torn muscle, the officer testified.

Prosecutors presented hours of surveillance video and body camera images, which they said support officers’ testimony that Fitzsimons helped suffocate Nguyen with bear spray, attempted to hurt Beaver by throwing a bow at her, and injured Gonell’s shoulder.

Fitzsimons’ defense attorney Natasha Taylor-Smith said it wasn’t always clear that Fitzsimons was at fault. There’s no video footage showing the complete sequence of a bow flying from Fitzsimons’ hands to Beaver’s head. There are no clear-cut images of Fitzsimons pulling at Nguyen’s mask while someone sprayed him, Taylor-Smith told the court.

Taylor-Smith spent much of her cross-examination questioning Gonell’s credibility. He testified in Congress about the events of the day and he has given interviews to national news outlets, including Univision, The Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC and CNN. In some interviews – two of which were paid – Taylor-Smith pointed to previous statements Gonell made, criticizing judges for delivering sentences against other Jan. 6 participants that Gonell felt weren’t severe enough.

Fitzsimons had been living in Lebanon with his wife and young daughter for about three years before his arrest in February 2021. He worked as a freelance butcher for small farms throughout southern Maine, according to court documents. A day after he helped storm the U.S. Capitol, Fitzsimons called into a local government meeting and said he went to D.C. wearing his butcher’s jacket because “it was going to be the last day of the Republic” and he wanted to “live it like I live every day.”

Fitzsimons was born in Newburgh, New York, and his father worked for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, according to court documents. He grew up around other children whose families were working at West Point. After high school, he got a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Taylor-Smith told the court that Fitzsimons believed he was going to Washington to support a constitutional and legal process, in which elected members of Congress could have voted against certifying the presidential vote. She said Fitzsimons was following information from “mainstream” sources – news outlets and federal and state officials who were speaking about alleged “irregularities” in the electoral results.

“He was still being told by these same mainstream individuals, and by the chief executive officer of this nation, that there was a plan,” said Taylor-Smith. “That plan did not include the military. It did not include violence or weapons of any kind. All that needed to happen was for the state legislatures to come together on Jan. 6 and object to the certification.”

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story