Owner of funeral homes accused of spraying insecticide at cops, assaulting media at Jan. 6 riot

Peter Moloney, of Moloney Family Funeral Homes in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., rides his Harley Davidson hearse from the Tombstone Hearse Co. of Alum Bank, Pa., in New York, May 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

An owner of several funeral homes on Long Island was arrested Wednesday on charges that he sprayed wasp killer at police officers and attacked journalists — including an Associated Press photographer — during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said.

Peter G. Moloney, 58, of Bayport, New York, faces numerous charges, including civil disorder and assaulting police officers, according to court documents. He was expected to make an initial court appearance in New York later Wednesday.

There was no lawyer listed for him yet in the court docket. A woman who answered the phone at Moloney Family Funeral Homes, where he is listed as co-owner, said they had no comment.

An FBI agent wrote in court papers that Moloney appears to have come to the Capitol "prepared for violence," with protective eyewear, a helmet and a can of insecticide — wasp, hornet & yellow jacket killer. Monoley was seen at the Capitol with a colleague, who authorities did not identify publicly.

Video shows Moloney spraying the insecticide at officers who were desperately trying to beat back the angry mob and protect the Capitol, the agent wrote.

Authorities say video also shows Moloney participating in an attack on an AP photographer, who was documenting the violence at the Capitol. Moloney grabbed the AP photographer's camera and pulled, causing the photographer to stumble down the stairs, the agent wrote. Moloney was then seen "punching and shoving" the photographer before other rioters pushed the photographer over a wall, the agent wrote.

Authorities say Moloney also grabbed another media member's camera, causing that journalist to stumble down the stairs.

More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes in the riot that halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, and authorities continue to regularly make arrests more than two years later. Authorities are still working to identity a slew of rioters seen on camera storming the Capitol or engaging in violence.

Nearly 600 of them have pleaded guilty to riot-related charges, while more than 100 others have been convicted by judges or juries. More than 500 have been sentenced, with over half getting terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 18 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.