Chicago area brothers charged with attacking Capitol police in latest Jan. 6 arrests

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Chicago area brothers charged with attacking Capitol police on Jan. 6
Daniel Leyden, 55, of Chicago, and his brother, Joseph Leyden, 56, are charged in the Jan 6. attack and accused of attacking U.S. Capitol police.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It has been nearly 600 days since the insurrection and riotous attack on America's Capitol, but the two latest Illinois residents charged from that dark day are facing some of the most serious charges to date -- and potentially the worst punishment.

Daniel Leyden, 55, of Chicago, and his brother, Joseph Leyden, 56, of west suburban La Grange were arrested Tuesday on a federal felony complaint.

Joseph Leyden (left) and Daniel Leyden (right) at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6, 2021, as seen in FBI photos.

The men, both electricians by trade, are accused of battering police officers who were attempting to guard the Capitol building on Jan. 6 of last year.

The complaint filed in DC District Court officially alleges Daniel Leyden with assault, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon.

SEE ALSO | CPD officer charged in Jan 6 attack reportedly to turn down plea deal, lawyer says

Joseph Leyden is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers. The brothers face felony and misdemeanor charges. Typically those charged with Jan. 6 offenses are only prosecuted for misdemeanors. A small portion has faced felony counts.

Federal authorities say the Leydens are seen in FBI photos and video screen grabs in a violent clash with law enforcement officers outside the Capitol, as angry crowds rush the complex.

Daniel Leyden is accused of repeatedly lifting and pushing a barricade that contributed to officers' injuries, including one who was rendered unconscious.

Investigators say photos show Joseph Leyden "lunges" at officers and aggressively pushes a DC Metro police officer.

The brothers appeared Tuesday afternoon in federal court at the Dirksen Building in downtown Chicago. Both were ordered released on $5,000 unsecured bond.

Daniel Leyden, an employee with the Chicago Park District, has been placed on emergency suspension pending the outcome the federal criminal charges.

If convicted, Daniel Leyden faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and his brother Joseph could receive a sentence of eight years. They will return to court on Aug. 30.

The Leyden brothers are believed to be the 32nd and 33rd Illinoisans charged in connection with the tumultuous Jan. 6 riot.

As the I-Team reported this week, more than 40% of all Jan. 6 cases nationwide have resulted in guilty pleas, with no criminal trials -- and the number of negotiated deals with U.S. prosecutors is growing.