Man accused of spraying officers with chemical irritant in Capitol riot makes 1st court appearance

Nov 13, 2023, 1:03 PM

A New Jersey man accused of spraying police officers with a chemical irritant in the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol made an initial federal court appearance Monday and was ordered held without bail until trial.

The FBI released photos at the U.S. District Court hearing in Trenton, saying they showed Gregory Yetman spraying the liquid on officers during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot. Yetman, 47, was assigned a federal public defender at the appearance.

He is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, according to the FBI.

Yetman did not enter a plea. That is expected to occur when he is arraigned at a yet-unscheduled hearing in Washington.

During the hearing, authorities unsealed an affidavit from an FBI officer whose identity was withheld. It included photos from body-worn cameras from officers from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department that show a man the FBI identified as Yetman spraying liquid toward a group of officers during the riot.

The FBI said the liquid was a chemical irritant.

On Jan. 14, 2021, according to the affidavit, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command received information that Yetman, a National Guard member, had admitted being at the Capitol riot in a series of Facebook posts.

“As someone who supports our President and loves this country but hates where it’s going thanks to corruption and fraud by a tyrannical governing class, I can’t sit by and do nothing,” he wrote in one post submitted into evidence, adding “what happened at the Capitol was unfortunate and unacceptable.”

Yetman wrote that while he was present at the Capitol, he had positioned himself between rioters and people who were there “just to protest the sham of an election.”

“To my brothers and sisters in blue, I’m sorry for what happened at the Capitol,” he wrote. “We’re better than that.”

On Jan. 22, 2021, FBI agents interviewed Yetman, according to the affidavit. He acknowledged being at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but said he was trying to help people exposed to chemical irritants by pouring water into their eyes, according to the court document.

“Yetman told the interviewing agents that he supports law enforcement and that anyone entering the Capitol or assaulting officers should be prosecuted,” the affidavit read.

Nonetheless, photos included with the document show a man identified by the FBI as Yetman spraying a stream of liquid at officers that the FBI identified as MK-46H, a type of chemical irritant used by law enforcement.

The FBI special agent said another rioter had been using the canister to spray police, then put it on the ground, and that Yetman picked it up and sprayed its contents at officers for 12 to 14 seconds.

The federal public defender assigned to represent Yetman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, and a message left at Yetman’s home last week was not returned.

Yetman eluded authorities for two days last week when they arrived at his Helmetta, New Jersey home to arrest him by running into a wooded area, according to the town’s mayor. Yetman surrendered peacefully on Friday.

Approximately 1,200 people have been charged with Capitol riot-related federal crimes. Over 800 of them have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury or judge after a trial. More than 700 of them have been sentenced, with roughly two-thirds receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from three days to 22 years.

United States News

Associated Press

US investigating some Jeep and Ram vehicles after getting complaints of abrupt engine stalling

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that some Ram pickup trucks and Jeep Wagoneer SUVs can lose power, shift into park and apply the emergency brake. The probe announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 150,000 vehicles made by Stellantis from the 2022 model year. All have […]

12 minutes ago

Associated Press

US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, court records show

A Russian court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday. The conviction in the city of Kazan came on Friday, the […]

35 minutes ago

FILE - A Delta Air Lines jet leaves the gate, Friday, July 19, 2024, at Logan International Airport...

Associated Press

Air travel delays continue, though most airlines have recovered from global tech outage

Delays at some airports continue after a faulty software update caused havoc worldwide and led to the grounding by almost all airlines of a number of flights, but the impact is receding. Total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. earlyl Monday totaled 758, according to the latest data from FlightAware, which is greater […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Harris vows to ‘earn and win’ party nomination after Biden drops out

President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, […]

2 hours ago

United States' forward LeBron James waves to the crowd after the end of an exhibition basketball ga...

Associated Press

LeBron James selected as Team USA male flagbearer for Paris Olympics opening ceremony

LeBron James wasn’t totally sure what the opening ceremony was all about when he was picked for his first Olympics in 2004. This time, he’ll be one of the stars of the show. James has been picked by his fellow U.S. Olympians to serve as the male flagbearer for the Americans in Friday night’s opening […]

3 hours ago

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks to employees in Washington, Thur...

Associated Press

EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management. The grants are paid for by […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Man accused of spraying officers with chemical irritant in Capitol riot makes 1st court appearance