‘Let’s Go!’: Man Who Allegedly Directed Rioters Through Capitol Doors Arrested

A New York man accused of pulling open a door to the Capitol and directing a crowd of rioters inside on Jan. 6, 2021, was arrested Tuesday on civil disorder and other charges.

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According to an FBI affidavit, Eric Gerwatowski, 31, of New Hyde Park, New York, was at the front of a crowd just outside the Upper House doors to the Capitol. As Capitol Police attempted to close the doors to prevent rioters from breaching the building, he yanked one open, turned to the crowd and shouted, “Let’s go!” He allegedly directed rioters inside and entered the building himself.

One of the officers told the FBI in an interview that he made a tactical decision not to engage Gerwatowski and other rioters.

“The Officer said he made this decision because he had just come from the Gallery area of the Capitol where another rioter, Ashli Babbitt, was shot. The Officer told the FBI that he was exhausted, outnumbered, and had already been attacked and sprayed with several chemicals by rioters earlier in the day,” the affidavit said.

In an interview outside the Capitol building afterwards, Gerwatowski said he entered the Capitol because “the commies are trying to steal the country” and he believed the 2020 election had been stolen, according to the document.

As Capitol Police attempted to close the doors to prevent rioters from breaching the building, Eric Gerwatowski allegedly pulled one open, turned to the crowd and shouted, “Let’s go!”

The FBI said it had received two tips from people who said they knew Gerwatowski and also reviewed Twitter posts featuring the hashtag #lordlonghair, the identifier given to him by an online sleuthing community that has supported the bureau’s manhunt for the hundreds of Donald Trump supporters that rioted at the Capitol.

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Gerwatowski was 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; impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings; and parading, and demonstrating or picking in a Capitol building.

He is one of more than 725 people who have been arrested since the siege last year, including over 225 who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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