BUCYRUS -- A Bucyrus man, who allegedly posted personal photos and videos from the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, has been charged with three federal crimes for his reported actions.
According to an FBI filing with the U.S. Federal Court in Cleveland, Ethan C. Seitz, 31, pushed his way inside the Capitol building during the assault by thousands of protestors.
Seitz is charged with "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds" and two counts of "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority."
FBI agent John Minichello, based in Cleveland, wrote in a "statement of facts," that two cooperating witnesses told him on Jan. 13 that they knew Seitz had participated in the assault because of photos, videos and statements he posted on his Facebook page.
One of those witnesses allowed the FBI agent to view portions of Seitz's Facebook postings available only to those with "friend" status.
Seitz had an initial appearance Friday before a U.S. magistrate in Cleveland and was released on $20,000 bond. Among other bond restrictions, he is not allowed to travel outside of the Northern District except to attend court in Washington, D.C.
Seitz had an initial court appearance in Washington scheduled via Zoom for Wednesday at 1 p.m.
While reviewing Seitz's Facebook account, Minichello said he saw statements from the account's user on Jan. 5 saying he was in Washington, D.C., along with a photo the agent believes was in a D.C.-area hotel room.
Minichelleo said he also saw multiple video and images that appear to have been taken from a cellular telephone.
"Some of those files captured events as the recording party moved with the crowd of rioters from the Capitol grounds, through a police barricade as it was overrun, and into the Capitol building," the agent said in the filing.
Minichello said he obtained a search warrant for the Facebook account and got those records on Feb. 12, including messages between Seitz and others. In those messages, Seitz "appears to describe some of his activities during the assault on the Capitol."
Among messages Seitz sent to others included:
-- “There is a militia here that wants to storm the Capitol and take the building after Trump’s speech."
-- "I'm goin in the capitol."
-- "I just climbed in through a broken window."
-- "I was inside the capitol and was smashed in a group of people. They (expletive) pepper sprayed us and hit us with tear gas canisters inside the capitol building."
-- "I was inside upstairs in the capitol pushing with a group of people and they (expletive) gassed us again. And pepper sprayed us."
-- "I had to climb out a window. I couldn't breathe. I need a (expletive) gas mask."
-- "I climbed through a broken window of the capitol. We pushed and pushed bro. I've been gassed 2 or 3 times. And pepper sprayed. I had to climb back out I couldn't breath."
-- "Yeah. My eyes are still burning. My ears are ringing from the flash bombs and (expletive). And my neck hurts cause I got hit with a night stick trying to pull a woman away from the cops as they were beating her."
-- "LOL well I'm safe. I guess it's whatever. First time I ever came to DC and I was right at the front of the charge into the capitol ... seems fitting I suppose."
-- "Oh yeah idgaf dude. I pay taxes. That's mine and every other tax paying americans building. The federal government is run by WE THE PEOPLE. I didn't destroy or hurt anybody, I didn't even steal anything. Which was really hard for me. LOL."
-- "Pretty much nothing once Trump is out of office. Pile guns and wait for the war to start."
Minichello said a search of video footage obtained by the FBI revealed a video file showing Seitz sitting outside the Capitol after the breach, "apparently suffering from exposure to chemical irritants and wearing clothing (consistent) with a description of himself that he posted to Facebook."
The FBI agent said he also reviewed a YouTube video by a former radio host, who interviewed Seitz during the evening of Jan. 6. In the interview, Seitz said he entered the Capitol and rushed through the building. He told the interviewer he thought police resistence was "disgusting" because rioters were there because of "election integrity."
Voice messages left for Seitz and his attorney, Nathan Ray, had not been returned by the time this story published.
Minichello said he reviewed security footage from multiple internal Capitol security cameras, "which appear to clearly depict Seitz inside the Capitol rotunda and connecting hallways during the invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021."
More than 300 people have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol riot. Five people died as a result of the riot, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick. More than 140 were injured and two officers have committed suicide after the assault.