Maryland Elections Official Resigns After Arrest in Jan. 6 Attack

A Maryland elections board official resigned this week after he was arrested on federal charges related to his participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the authorities said.

The official, Carlos Ayala, 52, of Salisbury, Md., climbed police barricades during the riot and jabbed a flag he was carrying at an officer, federal prosecutors said. He was charged with civil disorder, a felony, in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Ayala is also charged with related misdemeanor offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement on Tuesday.

The F.BI. in Maryland arrested Mr. Ayala on Tuesday, and he made his initial appearance in court that day. He was released on pretrial services supervision.

James. M. Trusty, a lawyer for Mr. Ayala, declined to comment on the arrest and charges on Thursday.

Mr. Ayala has resigned from his position as a member of the Maryland State Board of Elections, according to a statement from Michael Summers, the board’s chair.

“The board is committed to maintaining the security and integrity of our elections in Maryland in a nonpartisan manner,” he said.

According to a 13-page criminal complaint, witnesses identified Mr. Ayala among a group of rioters who had illegally gathered on Jan. 6, 2021, on restricted Capitol grounds near the scaffolding erected for the upcoming inauguration.

The complaint and the prosecutor’s statement stated that Mr. Ayala sported a sweatshirt hood decorated with an American flag that “cinched tightly around his head.”

Mr. Ayala, who also wore a mask, carried a distinctive black-and-white flag affixed to a PVC pipe flagpole that bore the words “We the People” and “DEFEND.”

Video footage from about 2:15 that afternoon showed Mr. Ayala “climbing police barriers,” which were moved aside by rioters so they could access the Upper West Terrace outside the building, according to the complaint. The document featured an image of Mr. Ayala running toward the Capitol through the crowd after the police line broke.

Another image in the court documents showed Mr. Ayala and others climbing the police barricade to access Capitol’s Upper West Terrace.

Closed-circuit television footage from inside the U.S. Capitol, near the Senate Wing Door, captured Mr. Ayala waving his black flag inside one of the windows next to the Senate Wing Door, prosecutors said.

An officer with the U.S. Capitol Police then motioned Mr. Ayala away from the window, the complaint stated.

Footage showed a rioter, jabbing a flag and flagpole toward a police officer, who then grabbed both items to prevent the rioter from knocking down the officer’s shield or injuring other officers.

Court documents state that the flag in the video matched the description of Mr. Ayala’s flag, which he was holding moments before.

Prosecutors said that body camera footage, from approximately 2:51 p.m., showed that Mr. Ayala paced in front of police officers who had assembled on the Upper West Terrace to clear rioters from the area.

As Mr. Ayala walked the length of the police line, he gestured at the officers, and said, “Join us!”

Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,265 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of U.S. Capitol. They include more than 440 people who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony, federal prosecutors said.

At the Maryland Senate recommendation, Gov. Wes Moore last year appointed Mr. Ayala and four others to the state’s Board of Elections to serve a four-year term, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Mr. Ayala was formerly listed as an employee at Perdue Farms in Salisbury, Md., according to the Maryland CBS affiliate station WBOC.

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