Community Government Police & Fire

Gig Harbor businessman convicted for participating in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Posted on April 24th, 2023 By:

A jury in the District of Columbia found Gig Harbor business owner David Charles Rhine guilty of four misdemeanors for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Rhine, of Bremerton, and thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters disrupted a joint session of Congress convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Security footage submitted as evidence by prosecutors shows David Charles Rhine in the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

A U.S. District Court jury on Monday found that Rhine, who owns Cox & Lucy CPAs on Soundview Drive, broke four laws over the course of the 22 minutes he spent inside the Capitol building, some of which were caught on security cameras. They are:

  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds;
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds;
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds;
  • Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Sept. 11.

Two tipsters

Four days after the riot, a tipster called the National Threat Operations Center to report that Rhine’s wife had posted to Facebook that Rhine entered the Capitol building. On Jan. 12, a second person submitted an online tip to the FBI to report that, based on second-hand knowledge, Rhine had been inside the Capitol.

The FBI accessed Verizon records showing Rhine’s cell phone accessed cell site that provides service inside the Capitol building. Google records showed a mobile device with Rhine’s number was present at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

On Feb. 1, 2021, agents tried to interview Rhine, 53, at his workplace, but he wouldn’t comment about being at the Capitol.

The first tipster told the FBI on March 16, 2021, about the Facebook post by Rhine’s wife. The post said she was proud of her husband because he was at the Jan. 6 rally and entered the Capitol.

The tipster asked Rhine and his wife via text message about Rhine being at the Capitol. Rhine responded that he saw no violence, and that the Capitol police removed barriers and let people in, according to court documents.

Seen on security video

In September 2021, a tipster identified Rhine from security video taken inside the Capitol building. Rhine was wearing a dark blue hooded jacket, a red hat and a backpack. He was carrying a blue flag with white stars, sometimes called a Washington headquarters flag, and white cowbells.

Security footage showed a person believed to be Rhine entering the Capitol on the second floor through the Upper House door at 2:42 p.m. (the first rioters forced entry at about 2 p.m.). At 2:47 p.m., he was seen walking down a third-floor hallway.

A Capitol Police officer confronted and detained Rhine at 2:57 p.m. The officer searched Rhine and found two knives and pepper spray, which were seized.

Only inside 22 minutes

At 3:02 p.m., the officer released Rhine in the Rotunda door interior area and told him to leave the Capitol. Rhine said he would. He was still wearing flex cuffs the officer put on him earlier. At 3:03 p.m., a person was seen taking the cuffs off Rhine. At 3:04 p.m., footage showed him leaving the building through the Rotunda door.

Rhine was arrested Nov. 8, 2021, in Gig Harbor and ordered to appear the following week at a hearing via Zoom. He didn’t spend any time in jail.

In the 27 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Rhine couldn’t immediately be reached.