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New Hyde Park Man Admits To Opening Capitol Door, Directing Rioters Inside On Jan. 6

A Long Island man pleaded guilty to opening a door of the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, letting rioters inside.
A Long Island man pleaded guilty to opening a door of the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, letting rioters inside. Photo Credit: Pixabay/Jacqui

A New York man pleaded guilty to pulling open a door to the US Capitol Building to let rioters inside during the attack on the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Long Island resident Eric Gerwatowski, age 32, of New Hyde Park in Nassau County, admitted to opening the door after US Capitol Police had closed it to prevent more rioters from entering the building, according to an announcement by US Attorney Matthew M. Graves from Tuesday, Nov. 22.

After opening the door, Gerwatowski turned to his fellow rioters, shouted "let's go!", and directed the mob into the building, disrupting a joint session of Congress that had been intended to count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election, Graves said. 

After then entering the Capitol himself, Gerwatowski walked down a hallway and proceeded to say, "They’re raping kids and they’re shooting kids," to another member of the mob who had been live-streaming before leaving the building after about three minutes, according to Graves.

Gerwatowski was also seen interviewed on camera outside the Capitol, saying that the election was stolen and that "the commies are trying to steal the country," Graves said.

After being identified by the FBI through photos of the attack, Gerwatowski was arrested in New Hyde Park on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. He faces a maximum of 5 years in prison for interfering with officers during a civil disorder as well as potential financial penalties when he is sentenced on Thursday, March 2, 2023, according to the US Attorney's Office.

In the nearly two years since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, almost 900 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for their roles in the riot, including over 275 people who are charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement personnel, the US Attorney's Office said. 

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