Capitol rioter arrested after FBI finds recording of him bragging to Uber driver | Attack on the United States Capitol

On January 6, 2021, Jerry Braun hailed an Uber in Washington D.C. and got into the car, nursing a bleeding eye injury. The Uber driver noticed it and asked, “So it’s been violent all day?”

“Well, it started, right when I got there. I tore down the barricades,” Braun boasted.

The conversation, captured on video by the driver’s dashboard-mounted recording device, sparked a 15-month investigation by the FBI. Earlier this month, on April 12, Braun was eventually arrested by federal authorities and charged with violent entry or disorderly conduct, obstruction during a civil disturbance, and entering and staying on restricted grounds, according to an affidavit from Lucas Bauers, FBI special agent.

Braun openly bragged to the Uber driver about his involvement in the deadly riots, which left five people dead. When he explained that he had torn down the barricades, the driver asked, “Did you do it?” Why?”

“Well, because, so we can get to the Capitol,” Braun replied.

The driver asked, “Well, how was it for you?”

“Well, it looks like, uh, Biden is going to be our president,” Braun said.

The Uber driver’s tip to authorities identified Braun as “Jerry Last Name Unknown,” according to court documents. The car dropped him off at a Holiday Inn in Arlington, Virginia; Authorities searched booking records to find that Braun had checked in as “JD Braun” on January 5 and checked out of the facility two days later. He had listed his phone number and an address in South El Monte, California.

Authorities then compared Braun’s Uber image with a photo of him from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. With a positive match, they began poring over images and video footage taken the day of the riot, looking for Braun.

“Officers reviewed several images on the webpage, including one of the digital images which depicts an individual with a white beard, wearing a black face mask covering his nose and chin, black sunglasses, a black beanie, black gloves and a dark colored hooded jacket,” the affidavit reads.

“The individual’s white beard peeks out from under the black mask, and a backpack strap is seen over the individual’s left shoulder,” he added.

Authorities also noticed a pocket containing a pen and paper with graphics “near the individual’s left shoulder.” Enlarging the image, they found the following text: “23-359-4”, “Ask For JD” and a website, shotgunshock.com – the website of a store based in South El Monte that sells air suspension systems for motorcycles. .

Officials accessed Google’s cached version of the site and found an email address, [email protected] – which turned out to be the same address associated with Braun’s Uber account – and a phone number that was registered with AT&T Corporation as “Jerry Braun,” according to court documents.

The affidavit included screenshots of video footage that showed Braun “physically struggling with law enforcement officers using a barricade.” At one point, Braun is also seen with a plank of wood in his hands. “Videos from the officer’s body camera show Braun in possession of the wooden plank, controlling the wooden plank and maneuvering the wooden plank towards law enforcement in an aggressive manner,” the affidavit states.

“In one instance…Braun extends the wooden board and physically strikes a person who is wearing a helmet with the text ‘PRESS’ displayed on the front (the photographer) and appears to be taking pictures with a camera,” he said. added.

“Braun and the photographer seem to be exchanging words. Braun then hits the photographer with his left hand, then hits the photographer again with the wooden board.

On November 8, authorities executed a search warrant at Braun’s California residence and found clothing he appeared to be wearing during the riot. They also seized Braun’s cellphone, which included a selfie of his eye injury as well as text exchanges in which Braun wrote ‘Occupied the capital’ and ‘Hand to hand combat’, in reference to videos he took during the riot.

When authorities asked Braun if he had anything to say during the search, Braun replied, “Guilty.” The authorities then asked him what he was guilty of, to which he replied: “Everything”.

More than 800 people have been charged for their involvement in the riot, of whom more than 250 have so far pleaded guilty.

About Geraldine Higgins

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