Chicago man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol assault, attempting to forcibly enter tunnel
CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago man is facing charges in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol building by rioters.
Joseph Pavlik, 65, was charged with obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, according to a court filing this week. Pavlik was arrested and released on Tuesday on a personal recognizance bond, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Investigators said Pavlik traveled with a group identified as the "B Squad" to the Capitol to forcibly enter the building through a police line within a tunnel on the Lower West Terrace. Other members of the group were arrested last year.
Pavlik is accused of forcibly entering the Capitol Building in "direct coordination" with that group. Video captured Pavlik on restricted Capitol grounds a little after 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 with numerous members of the group.
After entering the tunnel, police body camera captured Pavlik appearing to push the line of police officers defending the entrance. An officer attempted to push against Pavlik's face and helmet.
Investigators also said Pavlik was pictured wearing a black, quilted jacket, blue hoodie, neck gaiter, a black gas mask, black helmet, and a tactical vest with a patch associated with the "Three Percenters" movement. The patch bore the slogan "When Tyranny Becomes Law Rebellion Becomes Duty."
A witness familiar with the "B Squad" and who interacted with group members in Washington, D.C. on Jan 5, 6, and 7, 2021, told investigators about an individual they identified as "Joe" who was pepper-sprayed. The witness provided a physical description consistent with Pavilik and recalled "Joe" was a retired firefighter.
Pavlik's vehicle has a lien through the Chicago Firefighter's Credit Union, according to investigators.
Investigators interviewed Pavlik at his home in Chicago on Aug. 24, 2022. Pavlik said he was invited to join a group going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He rented a vehicle and drove to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5 with two other individuals. He attended then-President Donald Trump's rally at the Ellipse.
Pavlik admitted to walking with the crowd to the Capitol and went to the tunnel. He told investigators he "was pushed by the crowd into the police line but had his hands up the entire time so the police knew he was not a threat," according to the court document. He said his gas mask was ripped off and he was pepper sprayed.
Pavlik said he eventually went back to his hotel, left Washington, D.C. on Jan. 7 and drove home.
Investigators interviewed Pavlik a second time on Oct. 18, 2022 when he said he "only intended to talk to the officers and let them know he meant no harm."
Pavlik's social media posts also hinted at his intentions leading up to Jan. 6, 2021.
Around Dec. 25, 2020, a Facebook account associated with Pavlik responded to a post urging "Patriots" to be in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 with "I Will Be there."
Investigators also said Pavlik appears to have multiple links to militia groups holding an "anti-government/anti-authority violent extremist" ideology. His telephone number was listed on an Oath Keepers roster from 2009 to 2015, indicating an association with the militia group. Investigators also cited statements from Pavlik's Facebook account appearing to endorse the false belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
for more features.