Rapid City resident charged in January 6 capitol riot

RAPID CITY, S.D. – A Rapid City resident has been charged by complaint for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., on January 6.

According to the criminal complaint filed on December 1, James Haffner is charged with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, unlawful entry on restricted buildings or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees.

Haffner appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon. He was released from federal custody on a number of conditions. Haffner has a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 22.

Court documents say Haffner was living in Seattle, Washington, when he made the trip to Washington, D.C., but has since moved to South Dakota.

In the complaint, the FBI alleges Haffner is identified in still images captured from a video. The images show a man climbing over a concrete wall near the Peace Monument and later, pushing past trampled barricades on the West Plaza and up to a line of United States Capitol Police in riot gear.

Images from the video go on to show men dismantling barricades at the East Plaza. After making his way up the steps, the court documents allege Haffner sprayed an aerosol substance at USCP officers trying to guard the Capitol’s east side.

Furthermore, documents say Haffner was identified as being in Washington, D.C., via information provided by a U.S. airline, hotel records, and social media.

The FBI also received a tip on January 8th of a screenshot from Haffner’s Facebook page.

Haffner is the first person tied to South Dakota to be accused of participating in the January 6 riots. According to NBC News, more than 675 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol breach. More than a third of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

This article originally stated Haffner was a Sturgis resident, citing court documents. Haffner’s attorney, John Rusch, has confirmed he resides in Rapid City. 

Categories: Crime, Local News, National News, South Dakota News