After joining the Capitol assault on January 6th, a North Carolina man returned to the Capitol two weeks later on Inauguration Day hoping to take part in a second violent attempt to keep Donald Trump in office, according to a report received by the FBI.
David Gietzen is accused of striking a police officer with a large metal pole and punching others with his fists during the January 6th riot. The Charlotte Observer reports that the FBI got word 10 days after the Capitol attack that Gietzen and his unidentified brother intended to return to Washington for President Joe Biden’s swearing-in on January 20th. Once there, according to the affidavit which was unsealed this month, the brothers hoped to join others in a repeat assault on the Capitol to force Congress into ordering a new election.
Gietzen, who is the first publicly identified defendant to have been in Washington for both Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6th and the inauguration two weeks later, was arrested this month on eight charges, including two felony counts of assaulting police. One of those assault charges involved the use of a deadly weapon, presumably the large metal pole Gietzen carried in several photographs included in the affidavit.
CHARGED for Jan 6: David Gietzen is accused of assaulting officers with a pole outside the Capitol.
FBI says they got a report after the attack stating Gietzen+his brother were going to DC for Biden's inauguration "to force their way in the Capitol"+force a new election. (🧵1/2) pic.twitter.com/V6lFKV0REp
— Rob Legare (@RobLegare) May 11, 2022
When FBI agents contacted Gietzen by phone on January 19, 2021, he told them that he and his brother, who remains uncharged up to now, were already on their way to D.C.., but that “he had no intentions of committing any acts of violence,” the affidavit says.
In many of the newest US Capitol riot prosecutions, the defendants are accused of assaulting/resisting police
In a case unsealed this week, David Gietzen is accused of grabbing an officer by the throat … while wearing white helmet and brandishing a pole pic.twitter.com/Z9gP4FgUts
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 13, 2022
While Gietzen told the FBI that he and his brother never made it to the Capitol on January 6th, multiple photographs in his case file show him battling police at perimeter security lines. In another image, he and others confront a squad of police guarding a tunnel leading into the Capitol.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 11, 2022
David Gietzen has not yet been charged with any crimes connected to his inaugural visit and is currently free on bail pending his sentencing.