CONCORD — A Bridgewater man is the latest Granite Stater caught up in the fallout from last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol after FBI agents arrested him Wednesday.
Thomas Gallagher, 61, appeared in U.S. District Court in Concord on Thursday via video for a removal hearing that now sends his case to the federal court in Washington, D.C.
Gallagher wore prison orange as he was being held at the Cheshire House of Corrections in Keene. He was ordered released by Judge Andrea Johnstone and ordered to stay out of the District of Columbia until the D.C. court is able to set conditions. He is due to appear via video in the D.C. court on Jan. 22.
He was initially arrested on Jan. 6 by Capitol Hill police along with five other people for refusing to leave the Capitol building when ordered out by police, according to the affidavit filed by Capitol Hill Police Officer Joseph Bruno.
Gallagher was at the front of a group that was seen “making loud noises, and kicking chairs, throwing an unknown liquid substance at officers, and spraying an unknown substance at officers,” Bruno wrote.
Gallagher was initially cited and released, and allowed to return to New Hampshire. However, FBI agents picked him up on a warrant charging him this week.
According to Bruno’s affidavit, Gallagher and the others “violated 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2), which makes it a crime for an individual or group of individuals to willfully and knowingly (D) utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress, or the orderly conduct in that building of a hearing before, or any deliberations of, a committee of Congress or either House of Congress; or (G) parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol Buildings.”
Gallagher’s charge comes as others in New Hampshire deal with the fallout of being at the insurrection that led to President Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment.
Troy Police Chief David Ellis caused a firestorm when he was quoted by reporters at the scene of the protest that later turned into the mob. Ellis was quoted as being upset that the protestors were going after police officers, and there is no indication Ellis took part in the mob’s violent actions.
Troy, a small town in southwestern New Hampshire, was forced to shut down its town hall this week after violent threats against town officials were called and emailed in. Selectman Richard Thackston said the threats were made by people upset the town was still backing Ellis. Ellis remains off duty as he is quarantining for a COVID-19 exposure following his trip.
The Capitol insurrection, stirred up by Trump in an apparent attempt to stop certifying the electoral college votes showing President-Elect Joe Biden won the election, has other New Hampshire ties. There are reports that members of the Neo-Nazi group, NSC-131, were part of the mob.
NSC-131 is a white supremacist group with ties to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Last year, NCS-131 propaganda and graffiti was spotted throughout southern New Hampshire and Maine. The name of the group is an abbreviation of Nationalist Social Club, and 131 is alphanumeric code meaning “anti-communist action,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
New Hampshire is also reportedly home to the Neo-Nazi wing of the Proud Boys, a known new hate group. Proud Boys were visible at the D.C. insurrections, and some were photographed wearing clothing with violent anti-Semitic slogans.
New Hampshire has a growing problem with anti-Semitism, according to Jewish leaders in New England. According to the Anti-Defamation League, cases of anti-Semitic and other hate incidents continue to increase in New Hampshire.
The spread of white supremacist propaganda in the Granite State increased in 2020 from 43 incidents so far in 2020 compared to 29 in 2019, and three in 2018. The total hate incidents in New Hampshire is at 50 incidents in 2020, compared to 2019’s 34. Reported hate crimes have gone from 13 in 2018 to 16 in 2019.