By Katelyn Polantz and Ethan Cohen, CNN
(CNN) — A member of Maryland’s Board of Elections has resigned after being charged with taking part in the mob during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and jabbing an officer during the melee with a flagpole.
Carlos Ayala, a 52-year-old from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was charged with a felony and several misdemeanors this week. He’s among more than 450 Capitol riot defendants accused of resisting or obstructing police during the attack, and a handful of elections and other public officials who have faced charges for allegedly taking part.
The Maryland Board of Elections chair Michael Summers said in a statement Thursday he “accepted the immediate resignation of Carlos Ayala. The Board is committed to maintaining the security and integrity of our elections in Maryland in a non-partisan manner.”
Ayala was one of five members appointed by the governor. He had served on the board since July 2023 following unanimous approval by Maryland’s Senate, and was set to serve a four-year term, according to state records.
He has not yet entered an initial pleading. An attorney representing Ayala declined to comment on his case.
Investigators say Ayala allegedly ran toward the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and climbed over police barricades while carrying a flag on a PVC pipe, which said “We the People” and “Defend” alongside a picture of an M-16 rifle.
In a tussle with Capitol Police at a window on the Senate side of the Capitol, an officer pulled Ayala’s flag into the building just before the rioters stormed inside. Minutes later, Ayala left the area to walk the police line outside, saying “Join us!,” according to the FBI affidavit.
The FBI says Ayala is captured on video carrying the flag. During the riot, he wore a painter’s face mask and a hoodie with a “Stop the Steal” button and an American flag print that he bought days before on Amazon, according to his court record.
A person who traveled to the Capitol grounds in Washington, DC, with Ayala also spoke to investigators, the FBI said.
Ayala was charged with five counts, including obstruction of law enforcement during the Capitol riot. He was arrested in Salisbury, Maryland, on Tuesday and released on a personal recognizance bond after appearing in federal court in Washington, DC, according to court records.
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