A South Jersey mom who’s become one of the most recognizable “Reopen New Jersey” activists and a Monmouth County correctional officer were among the latest people charged with the riot at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month.
“Men, we need more men,” Stephanie Hazelton, 49, of Medford, shouts on a video as she waves her arm on the Capitol steps in an attempt to get more muscle to help break through an entrance on Jan. 6.
“More people, we gotta keep going,” says Hazelton, who’s also known as Ayla Wolf, as she wipes her eyes of lingering pepper spray and records the events on her cellphone (see video below).
“We need more helmets,” the Burlington County activist says before turning back toward the entrance. It’s unclear what she did next.
Hazelton joined a group of more than 100 defendants charged after videos and photos they posted online drew more than 200,000 tips, according to federal authorities.
So did Marissa Suarez, who authorities said resigned as a correctional police officer in Monmouth County following her arrest early Friday.
Suarez was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted area without lawful entry and disorderly conduct, among other counts.
“A violation of federal or state law of any kind is unacceptable, particularly from a sworn member of law enforcement whose role is to protect and serve,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said in a statement.
“Actions have consequences,” Golden said, “and that applies to those who participated in the peaceful protests that resulted in violence at the Capitol.”
A third New Jersey woman was identified Friday only as Patricia Todisco Federal authorities said she was arrested and charged with the same offenses as Suarez.
They didn’t immediately detail the charges against Hazelton, who was one of the organizers of rallies outside Atillis Gym in Bellmawr, which made headlines last May when the owners defied Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 closure orders.
“This war is just as important as our founding fathers,” Hazelton reported said during one of the gatherings. “We are the militia. We are the founding fathers. We are America.”
Hazelton also lead a group that last year draped signs on New Jersey highway overpasses claiming that “COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are exempt from liability.”
She also helped lead protests at the Statehouse in Trenton, including one last fall over a proposed law that would require schoolchildren to receive flu shots.
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