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FBI: Mechanicsville man used baton, strobe light on January 6

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 18:11:39-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A Mechanicsville man was arrested last Friday for crimes related to the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.

Geoffrey Sills, 30, is charged with several federal offenses including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon, obstruction of an official proceeding, and civil disorder, among other charges.

Sills was on the lower terrace of the Capitol on January 6 where he was captured in surveillance videos assaulting multiple law enforcement officers, according to court documents.

As seen in the footage, Sills threw multiple objects at law enforcement officers. Surveillance video then captured Sills among a group of rioters entering the tunnel while holding up his phone, looking as if he was recording.

This same footage is posted on Sill's Instagram account. He continued to record while the crowd moved forward in the tunnel.

While inside, he repeatedly struck multiple officers with a baton while using a strobe light, apparently trying to disorient officers.

FBI agents had released hundreds of photos and videos following the attack to identify suspects. Sills was identified as person of interest #153, according to law enforcement.

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CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone highlighted the importance that a grand jury indicted Sills on serious charges.

“That means a grand jury considered all the evidence, a prosecutor looked at the law and made a decision what they thought they could prove in court,” he said. “They wouldn’t indict a case they don’t think they can’t prove generally.”

Stone also said social media played a crucial part in the entire event.

“Social played a role in causing the insurrection and now social plays a role in arresting these people because the FBI has that same power to get these photos out to people,” Stone said.

How Sills allegedly obtained his weapons will be crucial to the prosecution's case, Stone said.

“Did he bring those things or was he given those at the site? It could show more pre-planning on his part if he did bring them to his location,” he said. “The baton that gets extended - that shows someone would be expecting to have a physical altercation when they got there.”

CBS 6 stopped by Sill’s home in Mechanicsville. A woman who answered the door said, “no comment.”

Neighbors said U.S. Marshall agents arrested Sills at the home he shares with his parents on June 18.

When reached by phone, his former employer said Sills worked as a graphic artist but was fired for “insubordination” about five years ago. The business owner wouldn’t elaborate on exactly what happened. He described Sills as a gun enthusiast.

The FBI said Sills is one of nearly 500 people who have been arrested and charged in connection to the Capitol breach. Stone expected more people to be arrested as prosecutors and law enforcement continue to investigate that day.

“They all have a different level of culpability, and it will all get sorted out in the courtroom,” Stone said. “It’s better to get it right than get it fast.”