Ohio Pastor Faces January 6 Felony Charges

An Ohio pastor who allegedly pushed against police barricades and used a megaphone to incite the crowd on Jan. 6 was charged this week with two felonies and five other misdemeanor counts.

William Dunfee, 57, of Frazeysburg, Ohio, was arrested Wednesday on felony counts of obstruction of an official proceeding and interfering with police during a civil disorder. According to charging documents, Dunfee is the pastor of New Beginnings Ministries Warsaw, a church in Warsaw, Ohio. Dunfee is also a partner in a construction company named Cross Builders, also based in Ohio, and was identified in part because he wore a company-branded jacket on Jan. 6.

According to investigators, Dunfee attended the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and then made his way with thousands of others to the East Plaza at the U.S. Capitol Building, where he stood on a raised flower bed and spoke to the crowd through a bullhorn about what he believed was a stolen election.

“This election has been stolen right out from underneath of our noses and it is time for the American people to rise up,” Dunfee said, according to charging documents. “Rise up. Rise up. Today is the day in which it is that these elected officials realize that we are no longer playing games.”

Investigators said publicly available video showed Dunfee telling the crowd at another point that, “They just objected to Arizona” – an apparent reference to the ongoing certification of electoral votes inside the Capitol. Later, investigators said, Dunfee turned his focus to the police attempting to keep protestors out of the building.

“Mister police officers, we want you to understand something,” Dunfee allegedly said. “We want you to understand something. We want Donald Trump and if Donald Trump is not coming, we are taking our house. We are taking our house.”

Investigators said Dunfee can then be seen pushing police barricades along with other members of the crowd on multiple occasions. Once the police line was broken, Dunfee allegedly pushed his way through the crowd to the East Front doors, which were eventually breached by other rioters. According to charging documents, video shows an unidentified man coming out of the Capitol and telling Dunfee, “We did it. We got our job done,” to which Dunfee replied, “Hallelujah.” A short time later, investigators said, Dunfee told the crowd, “Mission accomplished” – a reference, investigators alleged, to the disruption of the joint session of Congress.

In addition to the two felony charges, Dunfee faces misdemeanor counts of entering and remaining in a restricted grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds. He was scheduled to make his initial appearance before a magistrate judge Wednesday.

 

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