A Hudson Valley man who was among those who stormed the U.S. Capitol during the riots in Washington D.C. earlier this month has been identified after being busted wearing his high school letterman’s jacket.
Northern Westchester resident Brian Gundersen, age 26, a graduate of Byram Hills High School in Armonk, was charged in connection to his role in the riot after being identified when investigators noticed his jacket in photos and videos from the incident on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Gundersen now faces federal charges that include knowingly entering and remaining on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, on Monday, Jan. 12, a police chief in North Castle notified the FBI that the Superintendent of Byram Hills High School noticed that one of the rioters caught on camera at the Capitol building was wearing one of the district’s jackets, however, it was initially unclear who specifically the person was.
Later that same day, the police chief again contacted the FBI, this time advising that Gundersen, who was known to local law enforcement, was potentially the person in the photo.
Gundersen had played varsity football for Byram Hills High School, and further investigation found that the FBI had received tips about him previously, and other photos (seen above) showed him wearing the same jacket shown in the pictures from the D.C. riots.
FBI investigators received multiple tips online that led them to Gundersen’s Facebook page, which helped them determine that Gundersen was a Byram Hills alum, and “according to a tip, a group of Byram Hills alumnae, based on their knowledge of Gundersen and his views, believed that (he was the) man wearing the Byram Hills lettermen jacket.”
Last week, FBI special agents interviewed a witness who was close with Gundersen who advised that the Northern Westchester native was “an avid supporter of former President Trump and a follower of commenter Nick Fuentes.”
It is alleged that Gundersen left for Pennsylvania the day before the riot and went to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 to rally on behalf of the former president. During the riot, Gundersen also allegedly told a second witness that he was in the Capitol Building.
“Gundersen told (the witness) that during the day, he had been in a large group by the Capitol Building steps,” the complaint states. “That group was disarming police officers of their riot shield. Gundersen told (the witness) that when everyone else stormed into the Capitol Building, he followed everyone inside.”
Gundersen was interviewed by FBI investigators on Tuesday, Jan. 19, where he claimed he had not been in the Capitol, though he admitted that the person in the photos in the jacket was him, alleging that he was pushed into the Capitol by the rioters.
Further investigation and an analysis of Gundersen’s phone found messages where he said that he and others “might be able to bum rush the (W)hite (H)ouse and take it over” and that he was going to go to “an event” at the Capitol “in 2 days that’s going to have millions of people to protest the results of our election.”
A later message shared a picture of members of Congress taking cover during the attack on the U.S. Capitol with the caption: “Look at these scared little bitches.”
A message on Jan. 8 read: “We all stormed the us capital (sic) and tried to take over the government,” followed by, “We failed but f--- it.” A message on Jan. 13, showed the same photograph, with the individual in the Byram Hill varsity jacket circled.
Gundersen wrote as a caption, “They might have found me.”
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