WASHINGTON, D.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Kannapolis man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his alleged actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Brett Alan Rotella, also known as Brett Ostrander, 34, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.
Rotella was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 29, and made his initial appearance Wednesday in the Western District of North Carolina.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said his actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
According to court documents, on the day of the insurrection, law enforcement authorities observed a man, later identified as Rotella, on the West Plaza of the Capitol building. Court documents say that Rotella held a long pole with at least two flags affixed to it at various points during the day.
At about 2:26 p.m. that day, Rotella reportedly approached a metal police barricade, grabbed it, and pushed it in the direction of a Metropolitan Police Department officer, and yelled, “f****n’ tear gas us, I didn’t do sh*t!”
Court documents say that while leading the group following police up the southwest stairs, Rotella periodically paused and called out “HOLD!” or held up his fist, indicating to the group behind him to stop. Rotella then followed police into a long hallway leading into the U.S. Capitol building on the Lower West Terrace, referred to as “the tunnel.”
Later that afternoon, while still pushing with other members of the mob, court documents show that Rotella extended his left hand in the air, extended his left index finger, then his middle finger, then his ring finger as if to count “1, 2, 3” and then pushed hard against the rioters in front of him.
Rotella then made his way through the dense crowd closer to the police line, continuing to push against other rioters near him to collectively breach the police line.
The 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.
It is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte and Washington Field Offices, which identified Rotella as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) No. 82 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the MPD.
Rotella’s next court date will be at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 12.