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Wisconsin man pleads not guilty to US Capitol riot charges

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FILE - Federal prosecutors say this image taken from publicly available video shows Riley Kasper at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia)

PULASKI, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man accused of participating in last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges.

Riley Kasper, of Pulaski, is accused of pepper-spraying law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 riot

The 23-year-old faces charges that include assaulting officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon to inflict bodily injury and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors say Kasper communicated on social media with another individual about the melee.

“I pepper sprayed 3 cops so bad they got undressed and went home,” Kasper said. “As you can see in that video, it was my group that busted the first gate and kept chasing the cops down and pushing them back at the capitol.”

About 800 defendants have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Roughly 300 pleaded guilty. Juries have convicted four other defendants after trials.

Charges in the riot range from misdemeanor offenses for those who only entered the Capitol to seditious conspiracy charges against members of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group.

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