WASHINGTON, USA — An Orting School Board director and his stepson were arrested Wednesday on felony and misdemeanor charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Richard Slaughter, 40, was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and other felony and misdemeanor offenses.
Slaughter is the director of District 1 in the Orting School District (OSD).
“As of right now, Rick Slaughter is still an active member of the Orting School District Board of Directors,” a spokesperson for the OSD said in a statement to KING 5 Thursday morning. “At this time, we have no comment on this matter.”
Caden Paul Gottfried, 20, is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and misdemeanor offenses.
On Wednesday, the two were arrested in Tacoma and made their initial court appearance. Slaughter and Gottfried were released pending further court hearings.
According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent based in Tacoma, Slaughter and Gottfried first came to the agency's attention on Jan. 7, 2021 when they disrupted a flight from Washington, D.C., to Seattle by refusing to wear masks and protesting the results of the presidential election.
In an interview with agents, Slaughter acknowledged they were at the riot but denied seeing any crimes committed, saying, "conservatives don’t protest, they have jobs,” the affidavit said.
In April, a source identified Slaughter in footage of the riot and provided links from his wife's Facebook page showing photos of him there.
According to court documents, both Slaughter and Gottfried illegally entered the Capitol grounds and joined other rioters in the Lower West Terrace.
Slaughter is alleged to have grabbed a police shield from another rioter and kept it from a police officer. He also used "a long pole" to attack officers at the front line of the tunnel area leading into the Capitol building and was seen handing chemical spray to another rioter in the crowd, according to court documents.
Investigators said Gottfried was in that same tunnel area and was attempting to use his body weight to push against the line of officers. He eventually was pulled into the tunnel and detained by officers, before later being released.
In campaign materials last year, Slaughter described himself as a mortgage loan officer and said he and his wife run a teen center. He opposed requiring children to wear masks in school as a means to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 880 individuals have been arrested in the 21 months since the Jan. 6 attack. About 400 have pleaded guilty. More than 270 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Sentences for the rioters have ranged from probation for low-level misdemeanor offenses to 10 years in prison for a man who used a metal flagpole to assault an officer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.