WASHINGTON — A Chicago police officer who was photographed wearing a department-branded hoodie during the Capitol riot was arrested Friday on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Karol J. Chwiesiuk, 29, faces five counts in total for allegedly joining the mob that stormed and then Chi filed Friday, the Justice Department says investigators uncovered a trove of cell phone data – including geodata and text messages – placing Chwiesiuk inside the Capitol during the riot.
The complain includes screenshots of geodata purporting to show Chwiesiuk traveling from his home in Chicago to D.C. on January 5, traveling from his hotel to the Capitol building on January 6 and then walking around inside the building itself.
The FBI also said it found photos of Chwiesiuk during the riot, including a selfie he sent to another person appearing to show him inside an office of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
In texts, the FBI says Chwiesiuk bragged about his plans to go to D.C. on January 6 to “f*ck up commies.” On the day of the riot, he allegedly responded to a question about whether he was there by saying he, “Knocked out a commie last night,” and that he, “Met j” – a reference, the DOJ says, to former President Donald J. Trump.
Chwiesiuk is the latest current and former law enforcement officer to be charged in connection with the Capitol riot. In January, two off-duty officers from Rocky Mount, Virginia, were charged with knowingly entering in a restricted building after they were allegedly photographed making obscene gestures in front of a statue of John Stark inside the Capitol. Earlier this week, a U.S. Army veteran and former California police officer, Alan Hostetter, was among six alleged members of a Three Percenters militia group indicted for conspiracy in connection to January 6.
Block Club Chicago reported Friday afternoon that Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Chwiesiuk was on medical leave and off-duty on January 6, and that he had been relieved of his police duties on June 2.
Chwiesiuk appeared in federal court virtually on Friday for an initial hearing.
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