Feds Charge 3 More Illinois Residents In U.S. Capitol Riot, Based On Social Media Videos And Photos
CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Three more Illinois residents have been arrested for their roles in storming the U.S. Capitol during the deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
Mathew Capsel, who also apparently goes by the name Mateo Q Capsel in social media posts, was arrested Tuesday on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted area and resisting law enforcement.
Christina Gerding, 46, and Jason Gerding, 50, of Quincy in western Illinois were arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful entry, disorderly or disruptive conduct on any restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The Justice Department said Capsel was arrested after at least two acquaintances identified him from social media videos he posted during the riot. According to the charges, Capsel was identified in part by a distinct tattoo on his face.
One witness, a former neighbor of Capsel's, told the FBI they had seen him in multiple videos "on the frontline of the riot and breach" and said Capsel was "known to be violent."
Another witness, who is friends with Capsel on Facebook, said Capsel "was at Capitol building when the protesters and rioters got on
the building before entering" and had video of this on his Facebook page.
An FBI agent who reviewed the videos said it appeared Capsel was fighting members of the National Guard who were attempting to block access to the Capitol using riot shields.
The FBI compared screenshots from the videos to Capsel's driver's license photo and confirmed his identity.
Court information is not yet available for Capsel, who lives in the city of Marseilles in central Illinois.
Meantime, federal authorities also charged Christina and Jason Gerding for their roles in the riot. According to the charges, they posed for a photograph inside the U.S. Capitol decked out in Trump 2020 attire during the Capitol insurrection.
One photograph posted to Jason Gerding's Twitter account and retweeted widely shows the couple inside the Rotunda in front of a painting of the Declaration of Independence with a caption reading, "Quincy Made it Inside."
The complaint also includes a photograph from Jan. 6 of a bust of George Washington wearing a red baseball hat with "Trump" emblazoned on the front that was posted on Gerding's Facebook and Twitter account.
The two are at least the fourth and fifth Illinois residents to be arrested for taking part in the assault by a violent mob of pro-Trump supporters.
But they may be the first in which federal authorities have made a direct link between the two and QAnon, a network of adherents to a conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against "deep state" enemies and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
In the complaint, the FBI included a post from Jason Gerding's Twitter account from December in which he says he has booked a flight to Washington, D.C., for the pro-Trump rally that preceded the attack and asks "Anons" if they know of a good place to stay.
The complaint also includes another post on Jason Gerding's Twitter, from Dec. 18, that includes an image of former President Abraham Lincoln and the quote, "We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
The Associated Press called a phone number listed for Jason and Christina Gerding in Quincy, but that number was disconnected.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Also From CBS Chicago:
for more features.