capitol riot

Maryland Man Charged as Part of Mob Who Stormed Capitol

Andrew Ryan Bennett, of Columbia, allegedly posted videos of himself inside the Capitol

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A Maryland man who authorities say livestreamed himself during the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol wearing a “Proud Boys” hat and chanting “break it down!” has turned himself in.

Andrew Ryan Bennett, of Columbia, surrendered Tuesday morning, the FBI’s Baltimore field office spokeswoman Joy Jiras told The Baltimore Sun. He faces charges related to entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

The FBI's criminal complaint says agents received a tip that Bennett had been live-streaming the videos on Facebook. They say videos posted to his Facebook page that day showed Bennett inside the Capitol wearing a baseball hat with the motto of the Proud Boys, a far-right group known for engaging in violent clashes at political rallies.

In other videos, Bennett yells “no destruction!” when someone is seen kicking one door inside the Capitol, but court documents say he seemingly chanted “break it down!” in relation to another door, at the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby, where Ashli Babbitt, a rioter, was later shot and killed by police while trying to climb through a broken window. A gunshot can be heard in one of the videos.

Two days before the mob stormed the Capitol, Bennett wrote on Facebook: “You better be ready chaos is coming and I will be in DC on 1/6/2021 fighting for my freedom!” and included a #STOPTHESTEAL hashtag, court document said. That post also said “#FIGHTBACK” for “Lin Wood and his family!”

The suggestion of permanent fencing to secure the U.S. Capitol sparked debate in D.C. News4's Shomari Stone spoke to some residents.

Wood is an attorney who repeatedly made unsupported claims in court in failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in favor of President Donald Trump.

Agents searched Bennett’s residence on Jan. 11 and found the “Proud Boys” hat he was seen wearing in the videos. Court documents said Bennett told agents he had traveled alone to Washington and entered the Capitol with a crowd.

“Bennett told agents that he knew it was wrong to do so,” court documents said.

It was not clear if he had made an initial court appearance. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment by the newspaper.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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