Illinois man gets 18 months in prison for fighting with National Guard during Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot

Matthew Capsel was arrested just weeks after the Capitol riot for fighting with members of the National Guard. He later wrote on social media that “on the 6 good men had to do a bad thing.”

SHARE Illinois man gets 18 months in prison for fighting with National Guard during Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot
Federal authorities say this image depicts Matthew Capsel.

Federal authorities say this image depicts Matthew Capsel.

Federal court records

A federal judge Friday handed down the longest prison sentence given so far to an Illinois resident in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that interrupted the Electoral College vote at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced Matthew Capsel, 28, to 18 months in prison.

Capsel, who records show has used the online moniker “Mateo Q Capsel,” was arrested just weeks after the riot for fighting with members of the National Guard outside the Capitol. He later wrote on social media that “on the 6 good men had to do a bad thing.”

The Ottawa man pleaded guilty in September to civil disorder. His attorney, Christopher M. Davis, noted that Capsel “did not destroy any government property, nor did he physically injure anyone.”

“As for his overall actions that day, he simply stated that he ‘feels like an idiot’ for having done what he did,” Davis wrote in a court memo.

Capsel recorded TikTok videos while outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In the videos, he said, “they only got so much mace and we got all these patriots we aren’t going to run out, they are going to run out. Hold the line, don’t run, go down with your eyes out and get some water to drink and hold your ground.”

He also joined a mob that ascended the stairs toward the inauguration bleachers on the building’s northwest side. He and others overcame officers there and stood on the bleachers.

Later, after a 6 p.m. curfew took effect, Capsel and a mob confronted a line of National Guardsmen. Capsel was at the front of the group that charged the troops, pushing against their riot shields. Capsel retreated only after the troops defended themselves with pepper spray.

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

Federal court records

Between the riot and his arrest in late January 2021, Capsel kept posting videos to TikTok and Facebook. In one, he made a slideshow featuring pictures of President Joe Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Music also played in the video, with lyrics that said, “Wish you would die, just f---ing die. Ever had a boss that was so damn bad, when you get to work it would drive you f---ing mad. If this place burned down it would be kind of sad. But to be away from him I would f---ing be kind of glad. To do all the work, he takes all the cred, about to blow up on this b------.”

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