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Florida opera singer charged with hitting officer with flagpole during Capitol riot

Audrey Ann Southard played Carnegie Hall 7 1/2 years before the events of Jan. 6.

An opera singer who once played Carnegie Hall participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, where she attacked a federal police officer with a flag pole, federal authorities said this week.

Audrey Ann Southard, 52, of Spring Hill, Florida, was charged Tuesday with a host of offenses, including assault on a federal officer, after she was captured on video yelling, "Tell Pelosi, we are coming for that b----," according to an affidavit supporting her arrest.

Southard's alleged role at the Capitol, where protesters egged on by then-President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud tried to overturn the 2020 election results, occurred on a remarkably different stage than the one she graced 7 1/2 years earlier.

Image: Audrey Ann Southard Facebook Post via FBI
"The tipster told the FBI that SOUTHARDRUMSEY, while using her Facebook profile, posted an image that captured her in front of the Capitol Building with the caption "DC Taking it back!!," according to the FBI.FBI

The soprano performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall, one of the classical music world's most revered venues, on May 2, 2013, records showed and a spokeswoman for the concert hall said Friday.

Southard performed that day with Finnish pianist Liisa Pimia, concert hall records showed. A critic said her performance was "attractive, unforced," adding, "I was glad to hear this fine singer moving ahead in her artistry."

Southard made it to the famous stage with performances the previous year in the Ibla Grand Prize Bellini International Vocal Competition. It was unclear where Southard's career went after Carnegie Hall.

Her LinkedIn account says she teaches voice and piano under the business name Voxx Mechanix LLC, based in Spring Hill. She could not be reached by phone Friday, but she said in an email that she did not wish to comment.

"Thank you for contacting me. DON'T EVER DO IT AGAIN! Have a nice day. Audrey," she wrote.

The FBI learned about Southard through a tipster, who led agents to the suspect's social media, where she boasted about her travels: "DC Taking it back!"

"'Going to DC tomorrow...Patriot's vs Traitors' and 'We The People are making a declaration...1776!!'" the FBI said Southard wrote in since-deleted postings.

Image: Screengrab from video showing Audrey Ann Southard inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Screengrab from video showing Audrey Ann Southard inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.FBI

The arrest affidavit said Southard drove from Florida with two other people and stayed at the Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, on the night of Jan. 5.

The next day, she entered the Capitol through the rotunda door on the building's east side at 2:26 p.m., the FBI said, citing security footage.

She confronted a U.S. Capitol Police sergeant, telling him: "There's a hundred thousand of us, what's it going to be? Last friend, last bullet. What's it going to be?"

She eventually grabbed a flag pole and used it to shove the officer, identified as "Sgt. V," through the doors of the House floor, where he struck his head on a marble statue of Lafayette, investigators said.

"Sgt. V felt like he was being trampled during the ordeal," investigators said in the affidavit.