20 Months Later, Feds Track Another Jan. 6 Cop-assault Suspect in NJ
A Toms River man is the 25th person from New Jersey charged in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The U.S. Department of Justice in a complaint says it was tipped off anonymously that Salvatore Vassallo, 59, of Toms River, was at the Capitol that day.
Vassallo was arrested in Toms River on Sept. 14, 20 months after a Trump-supporting mob, fueled by the former president's falsehoods regarding the election he lost, stormed past police officers and attacked the building. The day had begun as a peaceful demonstration with Trump addressing a massive crowd.
Vassallo was later identified as the individual in a picture that the Department of Justice had shared in order to find the man wanted for assaulting a federal officer. (The photo is pictured above in this article.)
The tipster also sent a picture showing Vassallo with a group outside the Capitol a few days before. During the investigation, a former neighbor told agents he was "100% sure" that the photo was of Vassallo. He moved to another home in Toms River in August 2021, according to the former neighbor.
Charged and pushed a cop
During the insurrection, Vassallo jumped over a rail and joined a crowd on the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol, near the Senate Wing Door and the Senate Fire Door around 4:30 p.m., according to the complaint.
Vassallo charged an officer and then pushed the officer with a "significant amount of force," federal prosecutors said.
About a half hour earlier he was caught on a security video asking another officer if he could walk up a ramp on the Upper West Terrace and was told he could not. He then hopped a rail and made his way up the ramp, prosecutors said.
Vassallo was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon and interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, both felony charges. He also is charged with five related misdemeanor offenses.
Vassallo was released from custody.