Chicago man charged with attacking cops, using metal railing to ram doors of U.S. Capitol in Jan. 6 riot


A Chicago man who earned the online moniker #Railmixer after being seen allegedly using a metal railing to ram the doors of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot has been charged with attacking police officers and other violence, court records show.

James “Mac” McNamara, 61, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. with several felony counts, including assault of a federal law enforcement officer, destruction of government property, and civil disorder, court records show. The most serious charges carry a 10-year maximum prison term.

McNamara, who owns a water heater installation company in Chicago, appeared at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday, where he was ordered released on a $10,000 bond by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sunil Harjani, records show. His first court date in Washington was set for Monday via Zoom.

His attorney, Thomas Breen, declined to discuss the charges, but said McNamara has a long history of charitable work, including working with the Sisters of Mercy to provide housing for the poor and repairing boilers for homeless shelters.

Federal prosecutors say James McNamara, 61, of Chicago, used a railing to ram the doors of the U.S. Capitol where rioters were attempting to break into the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

“He met Mother Teresa several decades ago, and has been a consistent supporter of the Sisters of Mercy ever since,” Breen said Thursday.

McNamara was at least the 35th Illinoisan charged so far in the Capitol breach, an ongoing investigation that has been described by prosecutors as the largest criminal probe in the country’s history.

Nationwide, more than 950 people have been arrested in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on charges stemming from the Capitol breach, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Hours before McNamara appeared in court, Naperville resident Dawn Frankowski was being sentenced Wednesday in Washington to a year and half of probation for her actions that day, including following the mob into a senator’s private office and watching as rioters rummaged through his belongings.

According to the complaint, McNamara was identified by the FBI earlier this year as a member of the violent mob that fought with police at the north doors of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, while Congress was meeting to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

Afternoon Briefing

Afternoon Briefing

Daily

Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox each afternoon.

McNamara, wearing a black baseball cap over a red, white and blue “do-rag,” could be seen “lunging forward, swinging his arms in the presence of law enforcement officers, and picking up a railing and ramming it at the door several times,” according to the complaint. Later in the complaint, the railing is described as a metal bicycle rack.

“He then leaves and returns to continue to attempt to enter the building before being sprayed by law enforcement with pepper spray,” the complaint stated.

Images of McNamara’s actions circulated on the internet, where he was dubbed “Railmixer,” and were later featured on the FBIs public web site seeking information on the Jan. 6 rioters, according to the charges.

In June, after the FBI interviewed several of McNamara’s associates, his lawyer reached out to agents saying he wanted to talk, according to the complaint. In an interview at the lawyer’s office in Chicago on July 1, an agent matched McNamara’s appearance with images from the Jan. 6 attack, the complaint stated.

The agent also compared the footage to images of McNamara on Yelp.com reviews of his water heater installation and repair business, Fastplumbing247, according to the complaint.

State records show the business is registered to McNamara’s home address in the 3600 block of South Hermitage Avenue, in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *