Westminster man charged with injuring police officer during Jan. 6 Capitol riot
A 61-year-old Westminster man was arrested at his home early Friday on charges that he was involved in a violent confrontation with a police officer who suffered head injuries during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said.
Kevin Galetto, a conservative activist and engineer, was taken into custody by FBI agents about 6 a.m. at his Orange County home and a search was conducted of the premises, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
Galetto is charged with assaulting a police officer, obstruction of law enforcement, obstruction of justice and knowingly entering a restricted building and committing physical violence, according to court documents.
The most serious allegations against Galetto involves a confrontation with a Metropolitan Police officer identified in court documents only by the initials B.S. The officer’s helmet was knocked off and he suffered head injuries in the assault, according to court documents.
Galetto was among hundreds of supporters of then-President Trump who clashed with police and forced their way into the Capitol building in Washington as the Senate was voting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
That officer’s body camera captured a “scuffle involving Galetto” in which the officer was knocked to the ground; the suspect’s face can be seen pushed up against the officer’s shield, according to the affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent David J. DiMarco. It was submitted along with the criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in Washington.
Four or five minutes after cameras captured Galetto entering the Capitol, police body camera video showed him pushing against officers’ shields and eventually on one knee with a hand on the ground, according to the affidavit.
The day after the Capitol riot, Officer B.S. filed an injury report stating that his helmet was ripped off his head and he was hit twice by an unknown object.
Washington Metro police reviewed the body camera footage and “observed an older white male with a white/gray mustache and goatee,” later identified as Galetto, “clearly holding and pulling the top of Officer B.S.’s shield” before the officer was knocked down and injured.”
Investigators used facial recognition technology and publicly available data that connected Galetto to the Jan. 6 incident, according to the affidavit.
FBI agents in Los Angeles confirmed Galetto was their suspect after learning he would be hosting a garage sale at his Westminster home and then photographing him in front of the residence during the sale on March 13.
The affidavit also notes that Galetto was captured on a YouTube video clip titled “UNBELIEVABLE Footage / Trump Supporters Battle Cops Inside the Capitol.” About a minute into the video, Galetto is heard shouting to the crowd of rioters outside the tunnel, “More people!”
“Based on my observations, I believe Galetto attempted to summon more rioters to the ... tunnel entryway [of the Capitol building] to penetrate the police line,” the FBI agent stated.
Galetto appeared in federal court in Santa Ana on Friday afternoon and was expected to be released on his own recognizance, authorities said. He was ordered to appear via video next Friday at 1 p.m. for his appearance before a D.C. magistrate judge.
According to public records, Galetto, a quality control engineer, contributed small amounts of money to the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign and had recently announced on LinkedIn that he was moving out of California.
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