Captured on video attacking police officers during the Capitol riots on January 6, an active duty U.S. Marine officer was arrested Thursday and charged with assault, obstruction, and violent entry on Capitol grounds.
Around 2:25 p.m. on January 6, Major Christopher Warnagiris was recorded on a security camera helping a small group of Trump supporters gain entry through the East Rotunda doors of the Capitol building. As U.S. Capitol Police Officers attempted to physically block the entrance, Maj. Warnagiris struggled with and shoved one of the officers while trying to maintain his position in the open doorway.
Stationed at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, Warnagiris appeared in several videos wearing civilian clothing with a military backpack and gloves. On March 16, a member of the public who worked with Warnagiris in 2019 reported his identity to the FBI and informed them that Warnagiris was an active duty Marine officer.
The next day, FBI agents visited Warnagiris’ military command and confirmed his identity from the video and photos taken on January 6.
On Thursday, Warnagiris was arrested and charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; obstruction of Congress; entering a restricted building without lawful authority; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
Serving 18 years in the Marine Corps, Warnagiris was recently assigned to the training and education command of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Staff Training Program at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia. His service awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
In a recent statement confirming that Warnagiris is on active duty, the Marine Corps stated, “The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values.
“Participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isn’t tolerated by the Marine Corps.
“We expect every Marine to treat their fellow Marines with dignity and respect. Those who can’t value the contributions of others, regardless of background, are destructive to our culture, our warfighting ability, and have no place in our ranks.”
Approximately 440 individuals
have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol
breach, including over 125 individuals charged with assaulting or
impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.