Illinois man pleads guilty to felony charge in Jan. 6 attack on Capitol

Sentencing for Matthew Capsel, 28, is set for Dec. 16. He faces up to 5 years in prison.

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Federal authorities say this is Matthew Capsel

Federal authorities say this is Matthew Capsel

Federal court records

An Illinois man who attacked National Guard troops at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for interfering with law enforcement officers during civil disorder.

Matthew Capsel, 28, now faces up to five years in prison, along with potential fines.

Capsel, who also goes by “Mateo Q Capsel” online, was arrested earlier this year after a former neighbor and social media friend alerted the FBI to Capsel’s well-documented role in the Capitol riot.

The former neighbor had said Capsel was “known to be violent” and directed the FBI to multiple videos of Capsel “on the frontline of the riot and breach,” according to the original criminal complaint against the Ottawa man.

“Capsel was among rioters illegally at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol,” the Justice Department said in a news release Friday. “While there, he recorded videos on social media in which he declared, among other things, ‘Hold the line, don’t run.’”

Screenshots from a video authorities say depict Matthew Capsel fighting National Guard troops. 

Screenshots from a video authorities say depict Matthew Capsel fighting National Guard troops.

Federal court records

The complaint against Capsel included screenshots allegedly from his TikTok page and video posted on a third person’s TikTok showing Capsel charging a group of National Guardsmen and smashing into their protective shields. He’s also shown being pepper-sprayed.

Capsel’s commentary online about Jan. 6 continued in the days following the riot. In one post, he said “On the 6[th] good men had to do a bad thing …,” according to the feds.

Capsel’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16.

The breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 interrupted a joint session of Congress that was in the process of affirming the results of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden. It is estimated that more than 2,000 rioters broke into the Capitol.

In the 19 months following the insurrection, more than 860 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states from crimes related to the breach. That includes over 260 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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