WASHINGTON — A New Yorker who allegedly sent Snapchat videos of himself participating in the Capitol Riot and smoking marijuana inside the Capitol Rotunda was arrested Tuesday on charges of entering a restricted building and impeding the orderly conduct of government business.
According to a criminal complaint, a witness reported Gregory Rubenacker to the FBI after receiving multiple Snapchat videos inside the Capitol during the riots on Jan. 6. Court documents say that Rubenacker also posted the riot videos to his Snapchat story under the username "Greg Rubenacker."
The Snapchat story from Jan. 6 starts on the National Mall with a large crowd by the Washington Monument and the caption "America is Pissed."
The video then shows rioters storming into the Capitol, and a speaker, who the FBI says in court documents that they believe to be Rubenacker, can be heard saying, “Holy shit! This is history! We took the Capitol!”
"Your affiant believes the user recording the video is the individual who uttered these words, because the clarity and decibel of the words as compared to other sounds in the video indicate that the speaker is close enough to the camera to be the one recording," the criminal complaint reads.
In a third video segment, Rubenacker shows his face for the first time while in the Capitol Rotunda. Court documents say he is wearing a baseball cap with a red underbill, a winter jacket with a brown, fuzzy hood up over the baseball cap, and a blue and white surgical face mask. The FBI alleges that he is "smoking what appears to be a blue electronic cigarette or other similar vaping device."
The final video shows Rubenacker sitting in front of a painting and panning around to show other rioters in the Rotunda. Court documents allege he is smoking a joint at this point when he looks into the camera and says, “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”
Someone in the background is heard asking, “How many joints we have?” as other rioters who are smoking raise their hands in the air, including Rubenacker.
The video ends on Rubenacker's face exhaling smoke and saying, "Hell yeah."
Five people lost their lives and dozens were injured when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Two police officers have also died by suicide in the weeks following the attack.
Thousands of Trump supporters surrounded the U.S. Capitol following a rally on the National Mall to protest unfounded claims of election fraud in which the President told the crowd to “fight like hell”, and that if they didn’t they were “not going to have a country anymore.”
The mob forced its way in while a joint session of Congress led by Vice President Mike Pence was being held to certify the electoral college vote, confirming Joe Biden’s presidency. The rioters smashed windows, pushed back police lines and scaled the walls of the Capitol, gaining entry as far as the House and Senate Chambers where the historic vote had been happening just minutes before.
The looters ransacked offices of leaders like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and damaged or stole property throughout the complex.
The building was locked down for more than 4 hours, key members of government were ushered away by armed security to safe locations while other Congressmen and women and their aides barricaded in their offices, fearful for their safety.
More than a dozen people have been charged with federal crimes, but the FBI is still working to identify many other rioters. Anyone with tips can call 1-800- 225-5324 or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.