This story has been updated with a statement from Giberson’s attorney.
A Princeton senior was arrested Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Larry Fife Giberson ’23 is 21 years old and from Manahawkin, New Jersey, according to a news release from federal prosecutors. The Daily Princetonian reported that he is majoring in politics, and the University’s James Madison Program lists him among its 2022-23 undergraduate fellows.
Giberson faces one felony count of civil disorder and related misdemeanor offenses, according to the news release.
The University’s Rights, Rules, Responsibilities policy manual lists “deliberate participation in a riot” that threatens the University or local community among the offenses regarded as “extremely serious.” When asked whether Giberson will graduate this spring, Princeton spokesman Michael Hotchkiss sent a statement saying only that Giberson is currently enrolled as an undergrad.
Prosecutors are arguing that on Jan. 6, 2021, Giberson engaged in violence against Capitol police officers at the Lower West Terrace “tunnel” entrance, according to the news release. They say he was at the front of a group of rioters trying to force their way in using a coordinated “heave-ho” push against a line of police officers, and that one officer was “crushed between a door and a shield held by a rioter.”
He later went back out of the tunnel and was part of a second round of pushing against police, who were eventually able to push the rioters — including Giberson — out, according to the news release. It also says Giberson watched as rioters “assaulted and brutally injured” an officer, and later cheered as rioters used weapons and pepper spray on officers in the tunnel.
Giberson was wearing a blue baseball cap with the words “TRUMP Make America Great Again” on it, a gaiter with an American flag on it, and a Trump flag around his neck, according to court documents.
Agents gathered photos from the riot and matched some to photos associated with Southern Regional High School in Stafford Township, New Jersey, and Princeton University’s French and Italian Departments. They searched online for students from the high school and Princeton, and identified Giberson.
When the FBI interviewed him at the Princeton Police Department with his attorney present, he confirmed he was the person in photos and video clips from the riot, the documents say. Giberson has not commented publicly on the case, but his attorney, Charles Burnham, said in a statement: “We cannot comment on the truth or falsity of the specific allegations in the complaint while the case remains pending other than to note that even the government agrees Mr. Giberson has been cooperative throughout the investigation. We ask all interested parties to respect the presumption of innocence and withhold judgment until the Court process is complete.”
The FBI’s Newark and Washington field offices are investigating Giberson’s case. Valuable assistance was provided by law enforcement agencies including the Princeton University Department of Public Safety, the news release says.
Prosecutors continue to investigate Jan. 6, having arrested more than 999 people and charged over 320 with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the news release.