A Lebanon man held racist beliefs and espoused the baseless view that former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election because of voter fraud, even offering on social media to lead a caravan to Washington, D.C., for what became the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month, according to an affidavit filed in federal court this week.

“If a call went out for able bodies, would there be an answer?” read a December Facebook post signed with the name “Kyle Fitzsimons.”

Fitzsimons, 37, is the first Mainer to be prosecuted for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. He appeared in U.S. District Court of Maine for the first time Friday. He is charged with assault on a federal police officer, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and attempting to obstruct law enforcement during a civil disorder, according to documents filed Thursday.

The FBI released this photograph of Kyle Fitzsimons during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 as part of court documents charging him with assaulting a federal police officer, among other counts. The image is taken from a security camera at the Capitol. Federal court documents

Five people died as a result of the violence, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. The officer was killed while defending the Capitol from the mob of white supremacists, far right extremists and Trump supporters. Federal prosecutors have charged more than 150 people in connection with the riot, and that number is likely to grow, authorities say.

Fitzsimons also may soon face charges in an unrelated case in Portland. He is suspected of leaving a suspicious package at the Portland Museum of Art on Jan. 23 that did not turn out to contain an explosive device, and the Cumberland County district attorney is reviewing the case, Portland police confirmed Friday.

The federal court hearing revealed little new information about Fitzsimons, who declined an interview request while being held in the Cumberland County Jail on Friday. But court documents and newspaper articles include some details about his life and his views, and Fitzsimons spoke openly to a New Hampshire newspaper and Lebanon elected officials about his experience at the riot.

It is not clear how long Fitzsimons has lived in Maine. In 2018, he testified at the Maine Legislature during a public hearing about a bill to fund a job training center for immigrants, saying he moved to the state from Rhode Island and New York to get away from “multicultural hell holes.” The testimony was reported by the Free Press at the time and The Mainer magazine posted a video clip from that hearing Friday.

“You’re bringing in the new third world,” Fitzsimons told legislators. “You’re bringing in the replacements.”

The court affidavit included a reference that Fitzsimons worked as a butcher at the Hannaford supermarket in York. The person who answered the phone at that store’s meat department declined to comment and hung up Friday. Hannaford corporate spokeswoman Ericka Dodge said Fitzsimons is not employed by the company, and she declined to discuss his time there.

Fitzsimons publicly described being at the Capitol in the days after the incident, saying he wanted to help overturn election results he described as fraudulent.

Fitzsimons told the Rochester Voice newspaper in a Jan. 11 article that he changed into a “costume” – his white butcher jacket – before he joined the throng at the Capitol that day, and he carried an unstrung bow as a sign of peace. Rochester is across the Maine-New Hampshire border from Lebanon.

The affidavit also describes him wearing what appeared to be a fur pelt around his neck, and Fitzsimons described himself as a trapper when he called in to the Lebanon Board of Selectman meeting Jan. 7 to describe his experience the previous day in Washington.

“If it was going to be the last day of the Republic, I wanted to live it like I lived every day,” Fitzsimons said, explaining his costume during that videotaped meeting.

He told both the select board and the newspaper that he expected the event to be a peaceful one. He said he was injured by a police officer’s baton to his head and later needed six stitches at a D.C. hospital.

Kyle Fitzsimons calls in to the meeting around the 38:00 mark

“The march was, in my belief, to demonstrate that Trump, a lion, was leading an army of lambs to change the corrupt fraud that had been perpetuated,” he said during the meeting.

The affidavit cites surveillance and police body cameras, including screenshots from those videos. It also references three unnamed concerned citizens who contacted federal investigators and alerted them to Fitzsimons’ public comments about the riot. At least two said they had never heard Fitzsimons talk about violence toward government or law enforcement. They described him as vocal about his political beliefs and firearms. One told the FBI that they believed Fitzsimons holds racist beliefs, although the filings didn’t elaborate.

In addition to testifying against a welcome center for immigrants, he testified in Augusta in April 2019 against a gun control bill. The so-called Red Flag legislation would allow courts to create an “extreme risk protection order” to temporarily take guns from individuals who pose an immediate and present danger to themselves or others. Fitzsimons was one of several gun owners who argued that the legislation would violate the Constitution.

Fitzsimons did not speak during his court appearance Friday except to answer questions from Magistrate Judge John Rich. The hearing took place on Zoom, and Fitzsimons joined on video from the Cumberland County Jail. He will be held there until at least next Thursday, when the court will hear arguments about bail. He appeared to be wearing an orange jail uniform and had a mask hanging from one ear.

At one point, the judge asked if it was his wish to waive an identity hearing, which would ensure police arrested the correct person named in the criminal complaint.

“Yes, sir, it is,” he said. “I am that Kyle Fitzsimons.”

James Nixon, the federal public defender appointed to represent Fitzsimons during the hearing, said in an email Friday that he had no comment about the case. He did not respond to a request for an interview with Fitzsimons.

Fitzsimons was contacted at the Cumberland County Jail on Friday morning but denied a request for an interview. “You are not a journalist, you are a newsreader,” he said.

A woman who lives in Chicago and appeared to be a relative of Fitzsimons declined to comment and hung up the phone Friday, and messages to other relatives, including Fitzsimons’ mother, were not returned.

Lebanon Selectman Jeffrey Adams also said he did not want to speak to a reporter about Fitzsimons.

“I know him as one of our town residents,” Adams said. “I don’t know him that well. So I’m just going to stick with ‘no comment.’ ”

Law enforcement officers arrested Fitzsimons without incident Thursday in Lebanon, according to a spokesperson for the FBI. Federal rules required that he make his first court appearance in the district where he was arrested, but the case will eventually be transferred to the District of Columbia, where he is charged. Two charges against him are felonies that will be presented to a federal grand jury, which will decide whether to indict him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff did not respond to an email Friday asking if the federal government is investigating any other people in Maine in regard to the rioting at the Capitol.

Benjamin Spinale, a special agent with the FBI’s Washington Field Office, wrote the affidavit filed with the court. He described Fitzsimons’ alleged actions between 3:45 and 4:30 p.m. the day of the riot. The affidavit says Fitzsimons was observed “pushing and grabbing against officers, who were holding a police line in an arched entranceway on the lower west terrace of the Capitol Building.”

Fitzsimons then moved to the front of the group of rioters where he continued to grab and push officers, Spinale wrote. After he was hit by officers’ batons, Fitzsimons lowered his shoulder and charged at the line of police officers, Spinale said. After scuffling with officers, Fitzsimons retreated into the crowd.

The affidavit does not say Fitzsimons ever entered the building itself, as other participants did.

In a separate case, Portland police said Friday that they believe Fitzsimons was the person who left a suspicious package at the Portland Museum of Art on Jan. 23. The package did not contain an explosive device. The Cumberland County district attorney now must decide whether to charge him.

“Fitzsimons was identified early in our investigation as the person who placed the package at the PMA,” Portland police Lt. Robert Martin said Friday evening in a text message. Martin said surveillance footage from the area and extensive work by detectives helped make the identification.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs has created a web page where the public can track the charging and arrest of defendants in connection with the Capitol breach. The page includes defendants’ names, charges and case status.

It can be found at justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne contributed to this report.

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