A Massachusetts man whose father was a renowned post-war American artist was convicted by a jury Friday of felony and misdemeanor charges for assaulting law enforcement during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Vincent Gillespie, 61, of Athol, Massachusetts, was found guilty by a jury of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; civil disorder; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, the Department of Justice announced.
Gillespie is the son of the late Gregory Gillespie, who has been described as one of the leading American figurative painters of the last half of the 20th century. His paintings are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and other museums, the Huffington Post previously reported.
The younger Gillespie has waged a long-standing and unsuccessful battle against his stepmother over control of those paintings, according to the Huffington Post. But it’s the fight that he participated in during the MAGA riot that will certainly land him in prison.
Gillespie was among the rioters who “engaged in pushing, shoving, yelling, and fighting with law enforcement officers,” the DOJ reported. “At one point, he gained control of a police shield and used it to ram the police. He then used two hands to grab a Metropolitan Police Department sergeant by the arm, yanking him toward the mob. He then screamed “traitor” and “treason” at the police.”
The Associated Press reported today that “a video interview Gillespie conducted with one of its reporters at the time of the riot was used as evidence by prosecutors during the trial, along with security video from the Capitol and police body cameras.” The report indicated that Gillespie had lamented there hadn’t been more rioters.
“We were almost overpowering them,” Gillespie, blood visible on his scalp from the clash, told an AP journalist. “If you had like another 15, 20 guys behind us pushing I think we could have won it.”
“What you guys need to know, and no one is going to listen to this, we were very (expletive) close.” If more people had been behind him, he said, “then there’s that second set of doors we would have just burst through it.
“’That’s what I would hope they would do. Take it over. Take it over. Own it for a few days. I’m not an anarchist, but you can’t let stand what happened in this election,’ he said in an apparent reference to former President Donald Trump’s false claims the election was stolen.”
Neither the video nor Gillespie’s decision to testify at the trial helped him with the jury, based on the AP reporting.
“He testified about finding the events of Jan. 6 fun and enjoyable,” said jury forewoman Niki Christoff, 44, of Washington, D.C. “By testifying in his own defense, I think he tried to muddy the waters and that only added to jury deliberation time.
“Christoff cited what she described as overwhelming photographic and video evidence against Gillespie,” the AP reported.
As Raw Story reported in February, Gillespie had been best known locally for having spent $275 to fight a $15 traffic court all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Court.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 17.