The FBI on Monday charged a man accused of participating in the Capitol riots after they received multiple tips from people who recognized his varsity jacket and number in footage of the mayhem.
Brian Gundersen, of Armonk, New York, faces charges of entering a restricted building or grounds with the intent to disrupt government business and utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct on the grounds of the Capitol, according to an arrest warrant.
A police chief in North Castle Township, New York, called the FBI to report that the superintendent of Byram Hills High School in Armonk and several members of the community had spotted a Byram Hills High School varsity jacket among the sea of rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The superintendent didn’t immediately know who the rioter was, but the police chief later reported to the FBI that he believed the rioter in the images was Gundersen, who was known to law enforcement, the warrant said.
One of the images of the man in the jacket, shown on CNN, reveals the jacket had a double digit number that ended in a “0,” the charging documents said. Gundersen wore the number 70.
Other people had also sent tips to the FBI identifying Gundersen as the man wearing the letterman jacket. One person told the FBI that Gundersen was an “avid” supporter of former President Donald Trump and far-right commentator Nick Fuentes, the arrest warrant said.
GPS data on Gundersen’s phone also indicated that he was in Washington, D.C., on the morning of Jan 6, 2021. He had messaged people that he and others “might be able to bum rush the White House and take it over” and that he was going to go to “an event” at the Capitol “in 2 days that’s going to have millions of people to protest the results of our election,” the warrant said.
Following the riot, Gundersen wrote in a message, “We all stormed the us capital (sic) and tried to take over the government … We failed but f— it,” according to the FBI. He also Googled “Pelosi’s office” after the riot, charging documents said.
He also sent pictures from the phone after the attack, according to the charging documents. One showed members of Congress taking cover, which Gundersen captioned: “Look at these scared little b——.”
He also sent the photo of himself at the riot in the varsity jacket to someone, remarking: “They might have found me,” and wrote on his Facebook page that he was at the Capitol on Jan 6, according to the charging documents.
Still, when he was interviewed by the FBI on Jan. 19, Gundersen denied being a part of the Capitol riots. He later admitted that he was there, and claimed he was “pushed” into the Capitol building by the crowd, according to the FBI.
Online court records do not yet list a lawyer for Gundersen. Attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful Tuesday.