NewsLocal News


Woodland Park man faces charges in connection to US Capitol riot, including assault on an officer

Robert Gieswein_charges in connection to DC insurrection
Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 18:41:20-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A 24-year-old from Woodland Park faces multiple charges, including assault on a federal officer, in connection to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested after turning himself in on Monday.

According to an affidavit for Robert Gieswein's arrest, he traveled from Colorado to Washington, D.C. and during the riot, "assaulted and intimidated U.S. Capitol Police officers with a spray canister, temporary barrier, and baseball bat." He willfully joined the crowd of people who forcibly entered the Capitol, the affidavit read.

The affidavit, which was submitted by a special agent with the FBI, said that the 24-year-old is a resident of Woodland Park and appears to be affiliated with the radical militia group known as the Three Percenters (also called 3 Percenters and III%ers). The group advocates for resistance to U.S. federal government policies it believes infringes on gun ownership rights. In several photos on his Facebook profile, Gieswein flashed hand signals commonly used by the group.

At the time of the riot, Gieswein was wearing a patch on his tactical military-style vest for Woodland Wild Dogs, a private paramilitary training group he runs, according to the affidavit.

Based on videos and photographs posted by those who broke in, plus news coverage, visuals of the scenes around and inside the Capitol clearly depicted evidence of violations of both local and federal laws, the affidavit said. The special agent who submitted the affidavit said he identified Gieswein in several images. He was wearing a military-style vest, a camouflage shirt, army-style helmet, goggles and a black camouflage-pattern backpack.

In one video, he was seen outside in a large crowd trying to dislodge a temporary barrier between the crowd and police. Gieswein is seen lifting a black canister and spraying an unknown substance at the police, according to the affidavit.

Robert Gieswein_Capitol riot

In a still photograph outside the Capitol, Gieswein is seen helping a crowd lift a temporary barrier.

Robert Gieswein_Capitol riot

In another photo outside the Capitol, he brandished a baseball bat. The special agent with the FBI said the patch for the business he runs in Woodland Park is also apparent in the photo.

Robert Gieswein_Capitol riot 2

A video showed him forcibly entering the Capitol through a broken window, with the baseball bat still in hand.

Robert Gieswein_Capitol riot 3

In a documentary about the insurrection, Gieswein was seen helping others inside once he got in, according to the affidavit.

In other photos, he was seen storming the halls of the Capitol.

Robert Gieswein_Capitol riots 4

Gieswein faces the following charges:

  • Assault on a federal officer
  • Aiding and abetting destruction of federal property
  • Obstruction of a federal proceeding
  • Violent entry or disorderly conduct
  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority

Teller County Sheriff’s Office Cdr. Greg Couch said Monday afternoon Gieswein turned himself in to the Teller County Jail and would be handed over to federal law enforcement.

U.S. District of Colorado Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak said at Gieswein’s initial court hearing Tuesday that if he is convicted of all five counts, Gieswein potentially faces dozens of years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Julia Martinez, the federal prosecutor on the cse, asked the court that Gieswein’s detention, identity and preliminary hearings be continued until Friday and that he be held in custody until at least then – a request the defense did not object to and which the judge granted. Those hearings are all scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m., the judge said.

Once the three hearings for both men are completed, their cases will go to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the district where the charges were filed, for prosecution.