WASHINGTON – A New York man was arrested today for assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the US Congress that was verifying and to count electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Ralph Joseph Celentano III, 54, of Broad Channel, New York, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers, civil disorder, physical violence in a building or restricted land, and related offences. He was arrested on Broad Channel and will make his first appearance today in the Eastern District of New York.
According to court documents, Celentano was among the crowd of rioters on the West Terrace of the Capitol on January 6. He was captured on video and security cameras with a flag as well as a folding chair attached to a backpack on his back. Celentano approached a uniformed Capitol Police officer from behind and made physical contact, knocking the officer onto a ledge and onto a sunken terrace. The officer later recalled being “blindsided” from behind in a “football-like tackle”. The officer, an Iraq War veteran, also remembers thinking, “I didn’t survive a war to go out like this.
Celentano also engaged in several other physical altercations with uniformed law enforcement on the Capitol grounds.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington field office, which identified Celentano as number 107 in its fact-finding photos, and the FBI’s New York field office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Capitol Police.
In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 245 people charged with assaulting or obstructing the ‘law application. The case is still ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
An indictment or complaint is only an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.