Ralph Joseph Accused of Pushing Officer from Behind

New York Man, Ralph Joseph Celentano Arrested on Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Accused of Pushing Officer from Behind, Causing Officer to Fall

WASHINGTON (STL.News) A New York man was arrested today for assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Ralph Joseph Celentano III, 54, of Broad Channel, New York, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and related offenses.  He was arrested in Broad Channel and will make his initial appearance today in the Eastern District of New York.

According to court documents, Celentano was among the crowd of rioters at the West Terrace of the Capitol on Jan. 6.  He was captured on video and security cameras with a flag as well as a folding chair affixed to a backpack on his back.  Celentano approached a uniformed Capitol Police officer from behind and made physical contact, causing the officer to fall over a ledge and onto a terrace below.  The officer later recalled being “blind-sided” from behind in a “football-type tackle.” The officer, an Iraq war veteran, also recalled thinking, “I didn’t survive a war to go out like this.”

Celentano also engaged in several other physical altercations with uniformed law enforcement personnel on the grounds of the Capitol.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Celentano as #107 in its seeking information photos, and the FBI’s New York Field Office.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.  The investigation remains ongoing.