Philly Amtrak employee charged with storming the Capitol on Jan. 6
The Philadelphia Inquirer March 7, 2023
PHILADELPHIA (Tribune News Service) — A Philadelphia-based Amtrak employee who skipped work to attend former President Donald Trump's Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, D.C., has been charged with participating in the U.S. Capitol riot.
Federal prosecutors say a coworker of Ronald Andrulonis, 37, of Northeast Philadelphia, quickly identified him from surveillance footage and a selfie he shot inside the building, posted to Instagram, and shared with other Amtrak workers.
Charging documents in his case, unsealed late last week, did not explain why, despite the swift identification, it took more than two years from receiving the first anonymous tip that identified Andrulonis by name for authorities to file charges against him.
The FBI did not return calls for comment Monday. However, Justice Department officials have previously described the investigation of the 2021 riot as the largest investigation ever undertaken by federal authorities, requiring investigators to sift through mountains of available surveillance and social media footage and burying prosecutors under cases against hundreds of defendants.
So far, nearly 1,000 people have been charged — more than 75 of them from Pennsylvania, making it home to more accused rioters than any other state except Texas and Florida.
Those charged from Philadelphia include Zach Rehl, president of the city's chapter of the Proud Boys, and at least three other members of that group, as well as a bartender at Delilah's Gentlemen's Club & Steakhouse, and a construction company owner who took his son to the Capitol and later bragged on social media about relieving himself in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.
Most of the defendants, like Andrulonis, face misdemeanor counts alleging only that they illegally entered the building.
In Andrulonis' case, investigators were able to piece together his movements from that day based on photographic evidence — from his 5 a.m. departure from 30th Street Station, wearing a red "Make America Great Again" beanie, to the moment he entered the Capitol through a smashed window near the Senate Wing door more than nine hours later, charging documents in the case say.
Surveillance footage shows him milling about several areas of the Capitol, including the Supreme Court chamber stairs and the Rotunda, snapping video and photos on his phone. A man he appears to have traveled with — who is not identified in the charging documents — can be seen knocking over barriers as they pass by, prosecutors said.
Eventually, the duo split up and Andrulonis entered the office of a senator who is not named in court documents and spent several minutes carousing with a crowd of rioters who had gathered inside before eventually leaving through the lobby of the Capitol crypt, according to the government filings.
Andrulonis did not respond to requests for comment Monday. It was not immediately clear from court records whether he had retained an attorney.
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