A Philadelphia woman claims she warned Capitol Police in December about a potentially violent protester, but says cops did nothing and even allowed him to carry a weapon on congressional Capitol grounds.
Melissa Byrne, a 41-year-old political organizer, was in Washington, D.C., for a COVID-relief event on Dec. 14 when she saw Jacob Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, walking near the Senate steps holding a metal-tipped spear. Chansley became infamous a few weeks later after storming the US capitol dressed in horns and a fur headdress.
“I was shocked they allowed a guy with a spear to walk around the city,” Byrne told The Post. “There he is walking with a metal spear. I flagged down a cop … and he looked into it and made a call and said higher ups had allowed him to be there.”
Byrne said she saw Chansley — weapon in hand — meandering around the Senate steps. He was with a woman, dressed in normal clothing and not otherwise causing a disturbance.
Byrne said she recognized him from his presence at skirmishes between Proud Boys and Antifa that weekend.
Chansley and other rioters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The aspiring actor was among the most visible participants in the insurrection, marching with a horned headdress and no shirt.
Byrne first made her allegation against unresponsive cops in a viral Twitter post Friday. A rep for the Capitol Police did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Post.
Prosecutors originally said Chansley and others were looking to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” but backed away from that claim, citing a lack of evidence.
But Chansley, 33, of Phoenix, Ariz., was charged on Jan. 9 with knowingly entering a restricted building, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Capitol Police have faced growing questions about their response to the unrest as the chaos unfolded.
“I feel like I did the right thing by reporting it and it just shows there was a systematic failure,” Byrne said. “When you don’t take threats seriously you enable chaos to happen.”