Second Rhode Islander charged in U.S. Capitol attack

Bernard Sirr, 47 of North Kingstown is seen in a frame from video contained in an affidavit in support of federal charges that he took part in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol

By WPRO News

A North Kingstown man charged on Wednesday with participating in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol was released on bond and ordered to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C. next week.

Bernard Joseph Sirr, 47, who works at the state’s nuclear reactor at the University of Rhode Island was charged with five felony and misdemeanor counts related to the attack on the Capitol, including Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder, Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Impeding Passage Through the Capitol Grounds or Buildings and an Act of Physical Violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings.

Sirr was released on bond, placed on supervised release and ordered to surrender his passport and to relinquish a dozen guns to a family member. He is to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C. July 7.

In an affidavit supporting his arrest, a federal agent whose name is redacted refers to embedded photos taken from video made during the attack, saying “Sirr can be seen repeatedly engaging in an assault against law enforcement officers guarding the United States Capitol.”

“In a YouTube video that appears to be taken prior to the assault, Sirr can be observed marching with a group of other individuals in a “stack,” with his left hand on the shoulder of the person in front of him.”

“Sirr is seen with the group of rioters as they continue to assault members of law enforcement. During this portion of the video, the group of rioters can be heard chanting “heave! ho!” in unison as they move back and forth together as a team against the police,” according to the affidavit.

Accounts by the Providence Journal and other outlets indicated that Sirr spoke in court only to acknowledge that he understood questions by the magistrate judge, and outside declined to answer reporters’ questions.

Sirr is the second Rhode Islander charged in connection to the Capitol attack after Timothy Desjardins was arrested in November at the Adult Correctional Institution, where he was held in connection to an armed stand-off with Providence Police in an Atwells Avenue barber shop. At the time, Desjardins was wanted for allegedly shooting a man in the face in an altercation months earlier and a few blocks away.

According to the Justice Department, more than 800 people have been arrested for crimes related to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.