‘Like going to the shopping mall’: Two arrested in suburbs for alleged role in US Capitol breach

David Wiersma was arrested in Posen, and Dawn Frankowski was arrested in Naperville. They are at least the 15th and 16th Illinoisans arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 breach.

SHARE ‘Like going to the shopping mall’: Two arrested in suburbs for alleged role in US Capitol breach
An image of David Wiersma on Jan. 6, 2021, according to federal authorities.

An image of David Wiersma on Jan. 6, 2021, according to federal authorities.

Justice Department

Federal prosecutors unveiled charges Tuesday against two additional Illinoisans accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, including a man who purportedly wrote on Facebook that, “by the time we got there it was like going to the shopping mall.”

David Wiersma, 66, and Dawn Frankowski, 53, were arrested Tuesday and are charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to the Justice Department.

Wiersma was arrested in Posen, and Frankowski was arrested in Naperville, records show. They were later ordered released on $10,000 recognizance bonds. They are also now at least the 15th and 16th Illinoisans arrested in connection with the breach, which prosecutors say has resulted in what will likely be the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history.

At least three Illinoisans arrested in the breach have pleaded guilty. More than 600 people have been arrested nationwide.

Neither Wiersma nor Frankowski could be reached for comment Tuesday. Court records did not identify their defense attorneys.

Federal authorities say Dawn Frankowski identified herself as the woman circled in blue in this image.

Federal authorities say Dawn Frankowski identified herself as the woman circled in blue in this image.

Justice Department

A 12-page charging document against Wiersma and Frankowski includes screenshots of Facebook posts apparently made by Wiersma. One reads, “It was staged by ANTIFA, BLM and Capitol police. The police moved barricades and encouraged people to go in. There are videos and I spoke with people. By the time we got there it was like going to the shopping mall. People talking and joking with police just coming and going. If i had thought at anytime we were in danger we would have left.”

The FBI was tipped off to Wiersma by someone who worked with him at PCI Energy Center, a division of Westinghouse Electric, in Lake Bluff, according to the document. On a separate Facebook account also allegedly tied to Wiersma, the feds said they found a video of a man wearing a red-and-blue baseball cap and an American-flag scarf they identified as Wiersma.

They said they were then able to find Wiersma in security footage from the Capitol. He was standing beside Frankowski, who they then tracked down by searching Wiersma’s cellphone records and a Facebook account.

Wiersma admitted during an interview with federal agents that he went to Washington, D.C., for a protest on Jan. 6, according to the document. But when he was asked about his social media posts, the feds say he refused to give further information without an attorney present.

However, the feds say Frankowski admitted she traveled to Washington with Wiersma and another unidentified man on Jan. 5. Following the Jan. 6 Save America Rally, she allegedly told agents she and Wiersma followed the crowd to the U.S. Capitol. The other man did not join them.

Frankowski allegedly told the feds that she entered the U.S. Capitol with Wiersma for what she thought was about 30 minutes.

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