Jan 03, 2024

'Rally Runner' indicted on charges related to Jan. 6 riot

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WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A St. Louis man who earned the nickname “Rally Runner” for running around Busch stadium with his face painted red during Cardinals baseball games has been federally indicted on charges related to the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol -- which include helping rioters attack police officers.

Note: The video above is from December 2021.

Daniel Donnelly was indicted Monday with five federal charges including: disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct, obstructing or impeding passage through or within the grounds or any of the Capitol buildings; embezzling, stealing, purloining or knowingly converting public money, property or records: and obstructing, impeding or interfering with any fireman or law enforcement officers.

He was arrested Wednesday.

In December 2021, attorney Joseph McBride appeared as a guest on cable news conservative host Tucker Carlson's show and accused the Rally Runner of being a federal agent planted in the crowd to cause trouble. McBride is an attorney for several Jan. 6 defendants.

"Who is this person? Why hasn't he been charged? That's a very simple ask," Carlson said.

"He is clearly a law enforcement officer, he interacts with uniformed personnel, he interacts with agents in the crowd," McBride said.

Federal court documents unsealed Wednesday allege that "interaction" with agents in the crowd was anything but cordial or legal.

On January 6, 2021, Donnelly posted a 26-minute video on his Facebook page in which he admitted to being at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Donnelly, wearing a red “Keep America Great” hat, a red jacket and what appeared to have painted his face red stated: “I get a riot shield, and I’m not trying to cause any violence, but I’m trying to be the furthest person to get through all the way, or at least get the furthest,” according to federal court records.

DMV records show he changed his legal name to Rally Runner, according to the documents.

In the Facebook video, Donnelly said law enforcement officers were “shooting rubber bullets, tear gas, and mace” adding that “the burning of the mace was horrible, I mean my skin is already sensitive so I think it affected me more than others, but I withstood it pretty well and I was like even when I was inside and I was breathing it in I was like alright I can handle this, this isn’t that bad, I’m not going to let this detour me.” He continued, “I got further than anyone, I literally got further than anyone. I helped us get that far,” according to the documents.

Donnelly was wearing red face paint, sunglasses, a red “Make America Great” hat, a red jacket, red pants or red shorts and red high socks at the Lower West Terrace doorway of the U.S. Capitol building, known as the tunnel, according to the documents.

Photos and videos from the Capitol show Donnelly helped the crowd pass a ladder to the tunnel, obtain a riot shield from other rioters and continue to make his way through the crowd towards the tunnel, according to the documents.

“Law enforcement officers attempted to push rioters back to secure the tunnel, yelling at rioters to move back and waiving at them to do so,” according to the documents. “Various rioters surged forward to attack the law enforcement officers.

“Donnelly continued to hold the line as rioters sprayed chemical irritants, threw items, and screamed at law enforcement officers. Moments later, other rioters, using Donnelly as a shield, lunged past him to attack law enforcement officers. Donnelly continued to hold his position just inches away from the Confrontation.”

A video showed Donnelly at the front of the line using the shield to advance by pushing law enforcement officers back, according to the documents.

“Eventually Donnelly lost the shield he was possessing when additional law enforcement officers came to the tunnel and began moving the rioters out,” according to the documents. “Law enforcement officers pushed Donnelly out of the tunnel area after about 10 minutes.

“Donnelly put his fist and arm up in the air when exiting the tunnel, appearing to encourage the group.”

On January 11, 2021, police interviewed Donnelly at his St. Louis home. Donnelly admitted that he was at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, that the crowd was passing around riot shields and that he ended up getting a shield, according to the documents.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section is prosecuting the case, along with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The FBI’s St. Louis and Washington Field Offices investigated the case along with assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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