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Seattle man charged with assaulting a federal officer at U.S. Capitol siege

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 10, 2021

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Mark J. Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle, was charged late last week with assaulting a federal officer during the riot.   (Jose Luis Magana)
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Mark J. Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle, was charged late last week with assaulting a federal officer during the riot.  (Jose Luis Magana)
Seattle Times staff

A Seattle man has been charged with assaulting a federal police officer during the siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Mark J. Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle, was also charged Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

The siege on Wednesday left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. The assault charge against Leffingwell stems from a separate assault on a federal law-enforcement officer.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C. confirmed Sunday that Leffingwell is from Seattle, which Leffingwell stated on the record during a proceeding before a magistrate judge on Friday.

Leffingwell was released on his personal recognizance to a third-party custodian — his wife — and is required to call into pretrial services on a weekly basis pending trial, according to a message conveyed by a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. Leffingwell’s attorney said in court that he intended to return to Seattle, and the magistrate judge ordered him to stay away from Washington, D.C., according to reporting by Inner City Press journalist Matthew Russell Lee.

Leffingwell and his attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

In the criminal complaint filed against Leffingwell, a Capitol Police officer Daniel Amendola stated that while forming a barrier with other officers to block a crowd from entering the Senate wing of the Capitol through a first-floor window, Leffingwell attempted to push past.

“When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest,” Amendola stated.

Officers arrested Leffingwell, and, before being read his Miranda rights, he apologized for striking the officer, Amendola said.

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