Listen Live

WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell calls January 6 a “terrible day and a painful, lingering experience.”

Gonell was on the front lines of the assault on the Capitol by an angry mob.  Testifying before the House select committee investigating the attack, Gonell said police officers were “punched, pushed, kicked, shoved (and) sprayed with chemical irritants.”  That included pepper spray and bear spray.

Gonell testified that rioters were armed with hammers, knives, batons, and police shields that were taken by force.

Gonell noted some of the rioters wore tactical gear, including bulletproof vests and gas masks.  He said he was more afraid to be working at the Capitol that day than during his entire Army deployment to Iraq.

He added, “Nothing in my experience in the Army, or as a law enforcement officer, prepared me for what we confronted on January 6.”  He likened the Capitol attack to “something from a medieval battlefield.”