Federal agents on Monday arrested a Pennsylvania woman who witnessed a news photographer being assaulted during January’s deadly Capitol attack and urged other rioters to “mace her,” authorities said.
Sandy Pomeroy Weyer, a resident of Mechanicsburg, was arrested by agents based in Harrisburg and was set to appear, via videoconference, before a Washington magistrate on Thursday afternoon, an FBI spokeswoman said.
Weyer has been charged with entering a restricted building, impeding government business and using “threatening or abusive language” while engaging in “disorderly or disruptive conduct,” according to an FBI affidavit supporting her arrested.
Though Weyer is not being charged with the assault and robbery of the photographer, the affidavit and arrest warrant painted a troubling picture of mayhem that unfolded on Jan. 6 as supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in hopes of overturning the presidential election victory of Joe Biden.
A female photographer for The New York Times was confronted by four or five rioters outside the Capitol rotunda entrance that day, authorities said.
One of the men then “pushed … the victim to the ground, taking her camera,” the affidavit said.
The photographer shouted “give me my camera back, that’s my livelihood” as “one of the men again pushed the … victim away as the men fled,” the complaint said.
Surveillance video captured the assault and showed Weyer, “a white middle-aged female … wearing a red hoodie-style sweatshirt with the words ‘2020 Trump,'” recording video of the crime, officials said.
The FBI said it also saw additional video by Weyer herself, showing the suspect screaming threats at the photographer as she tried to get her camera back.
“Weyer yells: ‘Get the f— out’ as the … victim descends down the stairwell toward her assailants,” the complaint said. “Weyer then yells: ‘F—ing traitor, get the f— out’ as the … victim continues to descend the stairwell and attempts to grab at the backpack of her assailants and is pushed backward.”
“Weyer’s video then captures the … victim as she makes a second attempt to grab at the backpack of her assailants as they descend the stairwell,” the affidavit continued. “Weyer can be heard yelling: ‘Get her out, mace her’ as the … victim is again pushed back by her assailants as they flee.”
The New York Times identified its employee assaulted that day as Washington-based photographer Erin Schaff.
“We are pleased that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office continue to pursue the people who committed this crime,” a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.
It wasn’t clear on Tuesday afternoon if Weyer had hired an attorney.
Three potential central Pennsylvania-based cellphones numbers associated in public records with Weyer were all disconnected.
Weyer didn’t immediately return messages sent to email addresses associated with her in public records.
Whitney Lee contributed.