A Pennsylvania man accused of assaulting several Capitol Police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection—and leaving one with a concussion—has an “extensive history of violent and assaultive behavior” against women, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Ryan Samsel, 38, was charged in February with several crimes, including assaulting a federal officer, obstructing law enforcement, and obstructing a legal proceeding, after he was captured in videos and photos knocking over several officers as he attempted to storm the Capitol. Among the officers he assaulted was a female cop, who fell and hit her head on “the stairs behind her, resulting in a loss of consciousness,” according to a criminal complaint.
A Tuesday filing opposing his latest request to be released from jail pending trial alleges that the Capitol riot was hardly Samsel’s first instance of violence. Prosecutors say that since 2006 there’s been “a pattern of Samsel choking and beating women to the point of loss of consciousness, of many hospital visits for many victims, of chipped and missing teeth, and of Samsel even breaking into one victim’s home multiple times to assault her.”
“Reviewing the police reports from these prior incidents reveals a pattern of Samsel not only threatening to kill others but coming extremely close to actually doing so,” the motion states. “The courts have repeatedly failed the public and these victims when it comes to Samsel. No condition or combination of conditions that could ensure the safety of the community if he were to be released.”
The disturbing claim comes just days after his legal team alleged Samsel was brutally beaten by two D.C jail guards in March. During the altercation, Samsel “suffered series medical injuries and aggravated a preexisting medical condition,” his motion for pretrial release states.
According to The Washington Post, the alleged jailhouse attack that left Samsel with a broken nose, dislocated jaw, and seizures is now under investigation by authorities. Samsel’s former attorney told the outlet he was beaten up late at night in his cell after complaining the guards took hours to get him toilet paper. Samsel’s legal team did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
In Tuesday’s motion, prosecutors acknowledged the severity of the alleged incident—but urged a judge to keep him in detention because his release would be an immediate threat to the public.
To prove their point, the motion details Samsel’s alarming history of violence, including one incident in 2006 when he ran a woman off the road because she owed him $60. After the woman pulled over, Samsel “approached her vehicle and punched her windshield, telling her he knew where she lived and would kill her if he didn’t get his money,” prosecutors said. He was ultimately convicted of terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct, the motion states.
A year later, Samsel allegedly got into another man’s car and began beating him without warning. When cops showed up, Samsel’s victim had missing teeth and a bloody face, the motion states.
In 2009, Samsel was also convicted of assault and reckless endangerment “after he held a victim against her will for five hours, choking her to the point of unconsciousness, pushing her, beating her, and chipping her teeth,” prosecutors stated. Three years later, Samsel was convicted on similar charges for allegedly “choking and beating his pregnant girlfriend.”
“The allegations of that assault involved Samsel smashing a hot pizza in the victim’s face, beating the victim, pouring a beer over her head, and eventually throwing her into the canal, where he then hopped down and held her head under,” the motion states. “When Samsel finally stopped holding her, the victim ran into the street barefoot and found a police vehicle. She desperately tried to open the door of the vehicle and the officer saw her and unlocked it so she could get in.”
After the incident, the motion states that Samsel’s pregnant girlfriend changed her story “because she was terrified of him.” Samsel was also convicted of choking another woman to the point of unconsciousness—and hitting her so hard she had a hematoma—in 2015. Another woman came forward to police in 2019 with a similar story, alleging “Samsel raped her multiple times and that she had often been scared he would kill her.”
“There is an outstanding warrant for Samsel’s arrest based on this conduct in New Jersey. Samsel was not only wanted on that warrant at the time of the offense conduct in this case, but he was also still on parole for the 2011 conviction described above,” the motion states.”
Prosecutors note Samsel’s seeming “disregard for the safety of others, the rule of law, and the democratic process” was also evident during his actions during the Jan. 6 siege. In several videos, Samsel is seen walking toward a barricade near the Capitol with another rioter, and immediately becoming confrontational with the officers standing guard.
Samsel “pushed and pulled” on the barricade with his fellow rioters until he fell on the officers. In the process of pushing down the barriers to allow others to storm the Capitol, Samsel knocked over the female officer, the criminal complaint states. When he went to help her up, Samsel told her: “We don’t have to hurt you. Why are you standing in our way?”
Hours later, as the female officer was arresting another rioter, she “blacked out and collapsed in the booking area and had to be transported to the Emergency Room at a local hospital, where she was assessed to have suffered a concussion,” the complaint states.