DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado Springs man who worked as a pastor was arrested Friday in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Tyler Earl Ethridge, 33, faces felony and misdemeanor charges. He was arrested in Denver.
The Justice Department gave this account of Ethridge’s alleged involvement, including an alleged social media post in which he identified himself as a pastor:
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Ethridge was among rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. He helped remove fencing erected on the northwest approach to the Capitol. He proceeded with the crowd past the barricades to the West Plaza outside the Capitol Building. As law enforcement officers attempted to clear the crowd, Ethridge climbed a media scaffolding and exhorted the crowd to keep fighting. He entered the Capitol Building at approximately 2:35 p.m. through the West Terrace Door. He then moved to the Rotunda, where he filmed several videos that he posted to social media. In one, he stated, “I’m probably going to lose my job as a pastor after this … I think we’re to a point where talk is cheap. If this makes me lose my, my reputation, I don’t care.”
Ethridge left the Rotunda area and joined a crowd of rioters between the Rotunda and Senate Chamber. The rioters were blocked by law enforcement officers who ordered them to disperse. Ethridge and others refused, but eventually were pushed out of the hallway. He returned to the Rotunda and then exited the building. He was inside the Capitol for approximately 30 minutes.
In the aftermath of Jan. 6, Ethridge remained active on social media. In one post, dated Sept. 24, 2021, he wrote, “Don’t be afraid of what they sentence you with. I’m not. I’m ready for whatever I’ll be charged with. America is still primed and ready.”U.S. Justice Department
Court records show Ethridge is set to make his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday. An attorney had not been enrolled on his behalf as of Saturday.
Ethridge faces the following charges:
- Civil disorder
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- 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
- Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building
According to the Justice Department, more than 850 people have been arrested since the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.