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Tambourine-playing retired NYPD cop surrendered to the FBI over alleged involvement in Capitol riot 


A retired NYPD cop spotted by security cameras waving a tambourine in the air during the Capitol riot on January 6 has been arrested by the FBI following a tip off.

Sara Carpenter, 51, is the latest alleged Capitol rioter to face misdemeanour charges after she surrendered to FBI agents in Queens at 9am yesterday. 

The former cop previously told agents she had marched to the Capitol as part of a large crowd after Donald Trump’s rally. 

Carpenter, who retired from the police in 2004, is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Federal authorities said that Carpenter surrendered in Queens at 9am yesterday.

The FBI received an anonymous tip on January 7, according to a court filing, which claimed Carpenter had phoned a relative while inside the Capitol building.

The tip also provided the agency with Carpenter’s address. 

Sara Carpenter, 51, a retired NYPD officer is facing a number of charges in relation to the Capitol Hill riot after being arrested by the FBI yesterday. Pictured: Capitol Hill security footage shows a woman wearing a red hat and green coat while shaking a tambourine, who is alleged to have been Sara Carpenter

FBI documents claim that Carpenter drove to Washington on the night before the Capitol riot and had entered the Capitol building without authority to be there. They also claim Carpenter was seen walking through the building recording on her phone and shaking a tambourine in her hand. Pictured: A woman wearing a red hat, alleged to be Sara Carpenter, holds up a phone and records inside the Capitol

FBI documents claim that Carpenter drove to Washington on the night before the Capitol riot and had entered the Capitol building without authority to be there. They also claim Carpenter was seen walking through the building recording on her phone and shaking a tambourine in her hand. Pictured: A woman wearing a red hat, alleged to be Sara Carpenter, holds up a phone and records inside the Capitol

In an email, Detective Sophia Mason, spokeswoman for the Police Department, said: ‘The NYPD worked closely with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force culminating with the arrest of Sara Carpenter.’

FBI documents claim that Carpenter drove to Washington on the night before the Capitol riot and had entered the Capitol building without authority to be there.

They also claim Carpenter was seen walking through the building recording on her phone and shaking a tambourine in her hand. 

Her case is being prosecuted by the District of Columbia federal court, along with hundreds of other alleged Capitol Hill rioters. 

Carpenter, who worked as a spokeswoman for the NYPD in the 1990s, appeared before a federal court in Brooklyn yesterday afternoon via teleconference and prosecutors said she had co-operated throughout the investigation. 

The woman, caught on security cameras during the Capitol Hill riot, is seen raising an arm in the air and shaking a tambourine

The woman, caught on security cameras during the Capitol Hill riot, is seen raising an arm in the air and shaking a tambourine

As part of her co-operation with investigators, Carpenter sent the FBI a text message containing the video footage she had taken during her time inside the Capitol. She also handed over the tambourine (pictured) she said she had been shaking throughout the riot

As part of her co-operation with investigators, Carpenter sent the FBI a text message containing the video footage she had taken during her time inside the Capitol. She also handed over the tambourine (pictured) she said she had been shaking throughout the riot

US attorney Josh Hafertz said that ‘any involvement in the Jan. 6 [riot] is serious conduct.’

Security footage filmed during the riot showed a woman wearing a red hat, green coat and black boots who was carrying a tambourine inside the Capitol. 

A court filing said the security footage showed the woman turning ‘back to the room and raises [her] hands in the air.

During an interview on January 18 with the FBI, Carpenter said she arrived in Washington DC on January 6 around 9am and went to the Donald Trump rally.

She said that around 1pm she joined a large group of people walking towards the Capitol and entered the Rotunda where she claims to have seen others walking out with items.

FBI agents recovered a green coat (pictured) similar to the one worn by the woman captured by security cameras, when they searched Sara Carpenter's residence

FBI agents recovered a green coat (pictured) similar to the one worn by the woman captured by security cameras, when they searched Sara Carpenter’s residence

A grey backpack was also discovered in Carpenter's home by agents while conducting their search

A grey backpack was also discovered in Carpenter’s home by agents while conducting their search

Court documents show that Carpenter also heard police officers yelling at individuals to leave the building and shoving the crowd, resulting in her being trampled and pepper-sprayed. 

As part of her co-operation with investigators, Carpenter sent the FBI a text message containing the video footage she had taken during her time inside the Capitol. 

She also handed over the tambourine she said she had been shaking throughout the riot. 

Following a search of Carpenter’s home, agents discovered a green coat, black boots and grey backpack, similar to those worn by the woman captured captured in security footage. 

Carpenter has been released on bond and her passport has been surrendered, with a judge also ordered her travel be limited to New York City and Long Island.

During an interview with the FBI, Carpenter said she attended the Donald Trump rally on January 6, arriving in Washington DC around 9am. By 1pm she had joined a large group of people marching towards the Capitol building. Pictured: Capitol Hill officers arrive outside the US Capitol as large crowds gathered to protest on January 6

During an interview with the FBI, Carpenter said she attended the Donald Trump rally on January 6, arriving in Washington DC around 9am. By 1pm she had joined a large group of people marching towards the Capitol building. Pictured: Capitol Hill officers arrive outside the US Capitol as large crowds gathered to protest on January 6

The Capitol Hill riot on January 6 left five people dead and almost 140 police officers injured. In the months since, more than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the incident

The Capitol Hill riot on January 6 left five people dead and almost 140 police officers injured. In the months since, more than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the incident

Pictured: Capitol Hill rioters clash with police and security forces as they tried to gain entry to the Capitol building during the January 6 riot

Pictured: Capitol Hill rioters clash with police and security forces as they tried to gain entry to the Capitol building during the January 6 riot

Her defense attorney declined to comment on the charges. 

She is due to appear in federal court in Washington DC on Monday via teleconference, and no plea has been entered. 

Following Joe Biden’s election win, former President Trump spent months falsely claiming he had won the election instead, with Biden’s victory the result of falsely alleged ballot fraud.

Trump’s allegations came to a head on January 6 when he held a rally and urged a crowd of thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol and pressure lawmakers not to certify Joe Biden’s victory.

Following his rally, thousands of people descended on Capitol Hill, resulting in a riot on that left five people dead and almost 140 police officers injured.

In the months since, more than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.  



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