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Man charged in Capitol riot son of famed artist Gregory Gillespie

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A 60-year-old man who has been charged in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol has been identified as the son of a fames American artist. Vincent Gillespie, who has been in a legal battle against his stepmother to gain control of paintings by his father, Gregory Gillespie, was arrested in February on charges relating to the Capitol riot.

Multiple videos from the scene show Gillespie participating in the violent riot, and FBI Boston sought the public’s assistant to identify him, according to court documents filed by the FBI. Witnesses include a former neighbor of Gillespie and an employee at an AAA in Massachusetts that Gillespie had visited.

Three other witnesses are employees of the Town of Athol, Massachusetts, where Gillespie lives. He frequently attends meetings at the town hall and pays his tax bills there.

In total, six witnesses positively identified Gillespie in multiple images from the Capitol riot on January 6.

The Associated Press says Gillespie spoke to one of their journalists who was at the scene that day. “We were almost overpowering them,” Gillespie, said. “If you had like another 15, 20 guys behind us pushing I think we could have won it.” 

Gillespie admitted to the AP reporter that he and some other people were involved in trying to breach the Capitol building. “I was with some other guys. And then we were starting to push against them and they were beating us and putting that pepper spray stuff in your eyes. But there were a bunch of people pushing behind us,” he said at the scene that day.

This image from video recorded Jan. 6, 2021, captures Vincent Gillespie on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington where prosecutors say he was among a rioting mob trying to gain control of the building from the federal government.

AP Video/Ben Fox / AP

Blood was visible on his scalp from the violent crowd, the AP reports. The FBI says Gillespie was “among the rioters on the Lower West Terrance of the U.S. Capitol who engaged in pushing, shoving, yelling, and fighting with law enforcement officers,” and that he sustained injuries during this.

He is seen and heard on the Metropolitan Police Department officer’s body camera “pushing his way through the crowd towards the law enforcement officers; using a police shield to ram the law enforcement officers; and screaming ‘traitor’ more than once and ‘treason,’ as he points to a law enforcement officer,” the FBI says.

When the AP reporter asked his name, Gillespie readily said it, but hesitated when asked where he was from. “They’ll come after me, man,” he said. “I’m in Massachusetts.”

He has now been identified as Gregory Gillespie’s son. The elder Gillespie’s artwork, which includes self-portraits, fantasy landscapes and geometric abstractions, are on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art. Some are also on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among other museums. 

Vincent Gillespie has sued his step mother to contest control of the paintings, according to the AP. In a 2020 court filing, he described his father as a renowned artists, with more 400 valuable paintings at the time of his death.

Following his arrest in Athol, Massachusetts, Gillespie was charged with with assaulting, resisting,or impeding officers, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and related offenses, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. 

 He pleaded not guilty. His next court date is scheduled for April 29. When contacted by the AP after his arrest, Gillespie declined to comment. “My attorney advised against it. He said there’s only downsides to it,” he said.”I’d like to talk. There’s a lot of stuff out there that’s wrong.”

CBS News has also reached out to Gillespie and is awaiting response. 



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