WASHINGTON, DC — A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to a felony charge in connection with the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.
Robert Gieswein, 26, of Woodland Park pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He has a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 9, 2023.
Based on court documents, Gieswein was walking in downtown Washington, D.C. dressed in a camouflage paramilitary kit and carrying a baseball bat. He was approached by a small group of Proud Boys who invited him to stay with them for the day. One of them gave Gieswein a piece of orange duct tape to put on his helmet to signify that he was "a friendly," according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Gieswein walked with the Proud Boys to the Washington Monument, where a larger group of Proud Boys stood.
After 10 a.m., he marched with the group to the U.S. Capitol.
After nearly three hours of marching around the building, Gieswein arrived at the Peace Monument around 1 p.m. A large mob, including Gieswein, rushed the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and ultimately to the West Plaza. There, he and other rioters pushed on a police barricade, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
"While in the West Plaza, Gieswein was stopped by a man with a microphone and asked how he was doing," the U.S. Department of Justice said. "In response, Gieswein stated, among other things, that 'this' was 'crazy,' and that he 'would die for this.' Asked what the solution was to 'this right here,' Gieswein stated, to 'execute these fascists,'" according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Shortly before 2 p.m., the crowd — including Gieswein — pushed up the stairs that led to the Upper West Terrace. At the top of the stairs, he sprayed an aerosol irritant at three members of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Gieswein continued to move with the crowd toward the Capitol building and encountered another line of officers trying to stop the group. Gieswein again sprayed his aerosol canister at the officers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He was one of the first rioters to reach the façade of the building and saw the window next to the Senate Wing Door get breached around 2:13 p.m. He entered through that window.
Around 2:29 p.m., he sprayed the aerosol at another group of officers.
He did this again at 2:34 p.m. as officers were arresting another rioter, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They tried to arrest him and he attempted to punch one of the officers. He then broke free of the officers.
At 3 p.m., he, along with other rioters, pushed against a group of officers who were trying to prevent the rioters from moving up toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. The group was pushed back into the Rotunda.
At this point, Gieswein left the Capitol.
He was indicted in late January 2021. He was ordered to stay in jail the same week.
Each assault charge comes with a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.
Since the Jan. 6, 2021 attack, almost 1,000 people have been arrested in almost every state for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Of those, more than 300 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Gieswein is one of several Coloradans charged in connections with the Jan. 6 riot, and several others either traveled there from Colorado or were arrested in Colorado to face federal charges:
- Jacob Clark of Trinidad was arrested in April 2021 on multiple charges in connection to the Jan. 6 riot. He demanded police officers to stand down during the attack.
- Glen Wes Lee Croy, of Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing inside the Capitol in August 2021. He was sentenced in November to 90 days of house arrest along with 14 days in a community correctional facility. He called himself an idiot.
- Tyler Earl Ethridge of Colorado Springs was arrested in July 2022 in Denver and faces six federal charges for his participation in the riot. He is a pastor who graduated from Charis Bible College in Woodland Park.
- Robert Gieswein of Woodland Park was arrested and faced multiple charges in January 2021 in connection to the Jan. 6 riot, including assault on an officer "with a spray canister, temporary barrier, and baseball bat," according to his arrest affidavit. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge in early March 2023.
- Logan Grover of Erie was charged in April 2021 with disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds, and demonstrating in a capitol building. He pleaded guilty in July 2022. He served in the Army Reserve for nearly 10 years and was deployed to Iraq, according to The Denver Post. He was sentenced to a month of house arrest and two years' probation in February 2023.
- Thomas Patrick Hamner of Peyton was arrested and charged in November 2021. Videos allegedly showed him fighting with Capitol and Metropolitan Police. In September 2022, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
- Lisa Ann Homer of Colorado Springs was arrested in November 2021 in Colorado Springs. She faces charges of illegally entering the capitol, disorderly and disruptive conduct on capitol grounds, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building. She was sentenced to three years' probation, 60 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine and $500 restitution.
- Jennifer Horvath of Colorado Springs was arrested and charged in May 2022 on multiple federal charges. She was located after FBI agents linked her to her boyfriend Glen Wes Lee Croy (listed above), who was also arrested, charged and sentenced for his involvement. She was sentenced in November 2022 to 36 months of probation, including 90 days of home confinement and 14 days at a residential facility, plus a $500 restitution.
- Klete Keller, an Olympian from Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding after storming the U.S. Capitol in September 2021. He faces 21 to 27 months in prison. His sentencing date is TBD.
- Avery Carter MacCracken of San Miguel County was charged in December 2021 with assaulting officers in the Jan. 6 riot. He was arrested in Norwood on six federal charges. He was captured on videos and in photos fighting with U.S. Capitol Police officers.
- Patrick Montgomery of Douglas County was charged in January 2021 with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. According to an affidavit for his arrest, federal investigators were tipped off by someone who saw Montgomery in photos from inside the Capitol posted to Facebook. He pleaded not guilty.
- Daniel Michael Morrissey was charged in federal court in November 2021 for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. He pleaded guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds and was sentenced to 45 days of incarceration and 26 months of probation in mid-August.
- Hunter Palm of Colorado Springs was arrested in May 2021 after he allegedly entered U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Jan. 6. He was identified to federal investigators by a family member. He was arrested in May 2021 and indicted the following month. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.
- Jeffrey Sabol of Jefferson County is accused of dragging a police officer down steps to be beaten by an American flag outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A federal judge denied him bail in April 2021. After the attack, prosecutors said he tried to fly to Switzerland.
- Timothy Williams of Trinidad was charged in June 2021 with multiple federal crimes. FBI agents found Williams on videos of the rioters inside the Capitol that day.