A retired New York Police Department officer seen on surveillance video shaking a tambourine while walking around inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with a mob of Trump supporters was arrested Tuesday morning.
Sara Carpenter, 51, who voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, told FBI agents in January that she went to the Capitol with others after hearing then-President Donald Trump instruct them to “march to the Capitol,” according to a court filing.
Carpenter is the latest in a growing list of former or current members of law enforcement to be charged in connection with the riot, which left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
Two other police officers who defended the Capitol that day killed themselves on the heels of the riot, which injured nearly 140 other cops.
Carpenter, who retired from the New York Police Department in 2004 after about 10 years of service, worked as a spokeswoman for the NYPD in the 1990s.
“The NYPD worked closely with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force culminating with the arrest of Sara Carpenter,” said Detective Sophia Mason, a current spokeswoman for the Police Department.
“Carpenter was ordered released by a judge on a personal recognizance bond after appearing via videoconference Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, federal court,” reports NBC News. “She faces misdemeanor charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”
“Any involvement in the Jan. 6 [riot] is serious conduct,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz at that hearing.
According to the court filing, the FBI received an anonymous tip on Jan. 7 saying that Carpenter telephoned a relative and said that she was inside the Capitol and had been tear-gassed during the invasion. The tipster gave Carpenter’s home address in the borough of Queens in New York City.
Carpenter told FBI agents during an interview that she drove to Washington on Jan. 5 and the following morning “went to the rally point where Trump’s Twitter page has instructed all supporters to hear about the election fraud,” the filing said.
According to the filing, Carpenter told FBI agents, “She heard President Trump’s words on the jumbo televisions and speakers instructing people to rally back, not leave, and march to the Capitol.”
“Carpenter stated that at approximately 1:00 p.m., she began to walk with a large group of people to the Capitol. Carpenter stated that she entered the Rotunda of the Capitol, where she observed other individuals walking around and leaving with items,” the filing said.
“Carpenter told FBI agents that she observed police yelling for individuals to get out, then pushing and shoving the crowd. Carpenter stated she was trampled and pepper sprayed as she exited the Capitol building.”