ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A judge on Wednesday ruled Dominic Pezzola, the Rochester man with Proud Boys ties facing multiple charges in connection with the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, will be held behind bars without bond until his trial.
Pezzola pleaded not guilty Tuesday to obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and restricted buildings or grounds. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Federal officials say Pezzola broke a window at the Capitol with a riot shield, in believed to be one of the first breaches of the building. Authorities say he said he would have killed Vice President Mike Pence if given the chance.
He turned himself into authorities after FBI agents contacted his family members. Authorities say before he surrendered he was on the run, changing his appearance and turning off his cell phone.
He was taken into custody in Rochester but is currently being held in Washington D.C.
During Dominic Pezzola’s detention hearing Wednesday his public defender, Jonathan Zucker, argued for release, saying that Pezzola was misguided by former president Donald Trump.
Zucker requested Pezzola be released on personal recognizance or allowed to enter house arrest surveillance. According to the court paper work Zucker argued Pezzola;
“…acted out of the delusional belief that he was a “patriot” protecting his country… he was responding to the entreaties of the then commander in chief, president trump….pezzola was on one of millions of americans “misled by the president’s deception. defendant did not act out of criminal intent but out of conscience, albeit a frighteningly confused and distorted sense of conscience.”
Ultimately during that detention hearing, the judge ruled Pezzola was to be held without bond prior to trial, due to his potential to engage in additional illegal activities.
Pezzola’s next court date has been scheduled for March 26th.
Read the defendant paperwork filed Wednesday: