Michael Curzio, Accused in Capitol Riot, Spent Several Years in Prison for Attempted Murder

michael curzio capitol riot

Marion County Sheriff Michael Thomas Curzio.

Michael Thomas Curzio is one of the people facing federal charges related to the January 6 storming of the Capitol building and has a criminal record that includes attempted murder. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Curzio spent more than five years in prison before he was released in February 2019.

Curzio, 35, was arrested on January 14 and booked into the Marion County Jail in Ocala, Florida, for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Michael Curzio Said He Has ‘No Regrets’ for What Happened at the Capitol

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Justice DepartmentMichael Curzio faces two federal charges related to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Curzio was one of the first people identified by prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. as having been present at the Capitol during the January 6 riot. According to a press release issued by the department on January 8, Curzio faces two federal charges:

Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Prosecutors identified Curzio as one of six individuals observed “on the Upper Level of the United States Capitol Visitors Center near the door to the House Atrium” during the riot. Officials said Curzio was standing toward the front of the crowd near a Capitol Police officer and ignored the officer’s order to leave the building.

Curzio appears to have either deleted or suspended his social media accounts since the charges were announced. But according to ABC affiliate WFTV, Curzio posted on social media the day after the riot, “Our point was made yesterday. I have no regrets about anything.”

The outlet also reported that before January 6, Curzio wrote about his trip to Washington, D.C., on his Facebook page: “If anything happens — we get (expletive) up, arrested, or killed — just know I love you all and I did what I believed in. And if you know me, I did it because it was the right thing to do.”

2. Curzio’s Roommate Says He Does Not Have Any Ties to Activist Groups

A woman who identified herself as Curzio’s roommate, Melissa Restifo, defended him in an interview with local ABC affiliate WFTV. She claimed Curzio did not plan on entering the Capitol Building. “The crowd was just so big that you couldn’t go anywhere but forward, so they were effectively pushed inside, is my understanding of how it was described to me,” Restifo said.

Restifo insisted Curzio does not have ties to any activist groups. As The New York Times reported, participants at the Capitol riot included white nationalists, QAnon conspiracy theorists and members of the far-right group the Proud Boys.

Restifo further defended Curzio’s character. “He’s not the person who’s going to go out there and destroy things and hurt other people, no matter what his past record says,” Restifo told the outlet. ” He is a very caring and kindhearted person. He will give you the shirt off his back and do anything in the world for you. But I think he feels things very intensely and that’s why he went to begin with.”

3. In 2012, Curzio Admitted to Pointing a Gun at His Ex-Girlfriend’s New Boyfriend but Denied the Shooting Was Intentional

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Marion County SheriffMichael Thomas Curzio was charged with attempted murder in April 2012.

Curzio shot his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend in the chest during a confrontation at her home in April 2012, the Ocala Star-Banner reported at the time. According to the newspaper, Curzio told investigators he was worried about his ex-girlfriend’s safety after she stopped responding to his text messages and phone calls.

Curzio told detectives he bought ammunition from Walmart before heading to his ex’s house. The shooting victim, Ariel Ramos, opened the door. Curzio admitted to police that he pointed the loaded gun at Ramos after they started arguing, but he claimed the shooting was an accident, saying the weapon mistakenly went off when Ramos grabbed Curzio’s hand.

Ramos, however, said it was no accident, the Ocala Star-Banner reported, telling deputies that after he was shot, he heard Curzio say, “I told you I was going to do this.”

4. Curzio Pleaded Guilty to Attempted Murder & Was Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

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Marion County Clerk of CourtMichael Thomas Curzio pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2013.

Curzio was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Marion County court records show that prosecutors were moving ahead with a trial and that jury selection was set to begin on April 22, 2013.

But before the jury trial could get started, Curzio decided to plead guilty to attempted first-degree murder. If he had been convicted by a jury, Curzio could have faced a sentence of life in prison, according to Florida’s legal code.

Instead, Curzio received an eight-year prison sentence. Marion County court records suggest Curzio had remained behind bars before pleading guilty. The record shows Curzio received a one-year credit for time served.

5. Curzio Was Released From Prison Early

michael curzio capitol riot

Florida Department of CorrectionsMichael Curzio was released from prison in 2019.

Curzio served his prison sentence in a minimum-security facility, according to his profile on the Florida Department of Corrections website. Although he was sentenced to eight years behind bars, he was released early.

The record shows he was released from custody on February 7, 2019. That means Curzio spent fewer than seven years behind bars.

Curzio’s record shows three traffic citations in Marion County, Florida. He was cited in February 2012 for not having proof of insurance. About a week later, he was charged for following another vehicle too closely and paid a $166 fine. Curzio was also cited in 2005 for not having proper motor vehicle registration but the record suggests that citation was dismissed.

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