NewsCrime and Courts


Helena-area fire chief accused of attacking officers at Capitol riot resigns

Dahlquist Jan 6
Posted at 2:23 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 16:25:14-05

HELENA — West Valley Fire Rescue has confirmed to MTN News that Frank Dahlquist has resigned as chief, effective immediately.

According to court documents, Dahlquist was accused of pepper spraying and assaulting police at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021, riot.

West Valley Fire Rescue says services will not be impacted by his departure and existing leadership is assuming additional command responsibilities at this time.

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge in Great Falls ordered Dahlquist released to home detention while his case is being transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

He is restricted to his residence except for employment, religious services, medical needs, and court-related needs unless approved by pretrial services.

Dahlquist is expected to appear remotely before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday, January 18.

Dahlquist Jan 6

A criminal complaint and statement of facts have been filed with the court. The complaint alleges that Dahlquist committed the following violations:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1),(2), and (4) - Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
  • 18 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1), Forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, or impeding a person designated in section 1114
  • 18 U.S.C. § 231(a)(3) - Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder
  • 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2) (D) and (G) - Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds

At this point, formal charges have not yet been filed.
According to court documents, Dahlquist was allegedly captured on video and images from multiple entities at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, including security cameras and officer-worn body cameras. Click here to read the court documents.

In 2021, Dahlquist lived and worked as a firefighter in Monroe, Washington. He took over as West Valley’s fire chief in November 2022.

Investigators submitted pictures and video they say show Dahlquist, with his face covered, allegedly spraying “an orange-colored chemical agent” directly into the face of a police officer.

Dahlquist Jan 6

Prosecutors also allege he was captured on a body-worn camera allegedly assaulting another police officer.

Federal agents said his former supervisors at the fire station he worked at in Issaquah, Washington positively identified Dahlquist from pictures taken at the U.S. Capitol.