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Fire Chief in Montana accused of assaulting police at 2021 Capitol riot

Dahlquist Jan 6
Posted at 3:15 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 16:29:15-05

HELENA — Newly-filed court documents accuse West Valley Fire Rescue Chief Frank Dahlquist of pepper spraying and assaulting police at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riot.

A warrant was issued for Dahlquist’s arrest on January 4, 2024. He made his initial appearance in federal district court in Great Falls on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

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.

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

Dahlquist is further accused of entering the Capitol Building and remaining in the building for around half an hour and remaining on the Upper West Terrace for around another hour.

A text message from a phone allegedly taken from Dahlquist stated: “It was a great day!! It got spicy but I love the taste of freedom.”

Dahlquist was identified after a federal agent reviewed a KING-5 TV news story with the firefighter. 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.

MTN News contacted West Valley Fire Rescue, who said they were caught off-guard by the situation, were unaware of the allegations, and do not have comment at this time.

We will update you if we get more information.