By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org
Jason Riddle, a Keene man who gave multiple media interviews after he was part of the Jan. 6 break-in at the U.S. Capitol was charged Friday in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C.
Riddle, 32, is seen in photos and videos shared online in social media and traditional media, inside the U.S. Capitol as rioters were breaking in and people in military garb were reportedly looking to kill members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, according to court documents.
Riddle, who is seen taking a bottle of wine and who allegedly stole a Senate procedure manual and sold it on eBay for $40, is charged with the federal counts of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, theft of government property, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson cites Riddle’s first interview with an NBC outlet in which Riddle admitted to going into the Capitol building along with the rioters.
“I just, I just had to see it,” Riddle said in the interview.
“When asked (by the NBC reporter) if Riddle regretted it, Riddle responded, ‘No,’” Helson writes in his affidavit.
Riddle is also quoted by NBC as saying he “poured a glass of wine and watched it all unfold,” while in the building and watching the violence.
“They were smashing computers, and printers, and breaking things, and throwing papers and lamps around,” Riddle said in the NBC interview, according to Helson’s affidavit.
Riddle supplied reporters with video and photos he took of the action inside the building, including numerous videos and photos of himself. Many of the photos of Riddle are included in Helson’s affidavit, along with surveillance security images taken from the Capitol complex system.
The charges were first reported Friday by the Keene Sentinel, where Riddle was previously interviewed.
Helson writes that FBI agents interviewed Riddle in Keene on Jan. 22 when executing a search warrant to obtain digital photos and video. During that interview, Riddle allegedly admitted to going in as part of a “break in” led by a “big dude.” Riddle also admitted to taking the Senate book and drinking the wine, according to Helson.
“Riddle also admitted that he stole a small Fox News football from the same office, but tossed it aside as he exited the Capitol building,” Helson wrote.
Riddle told the agents that before they arrived he had tried to delete photos from his phone.
“Riddle also admitted that at some point after the Capitol incident, he had deleted some messages, photos, and videos of his D.C. trip from his phone, during what he termed a ‘delete frenzy,’” Helson wrote.
Riddle has yet to appear in court in Washington D.C. to be arraigned on the charges. He denounced the violence of the riots in his media interviews. He is a former corrections officer who ran unsuccessfully for Cheshire County Commissioner as a Republican, according to the Keene Sentinel.
Riddle is now the second New Hampshire person charged for his role in the Jan. 6 riots. Last month, Thomas Gallagher, 61, of Bridgewater was arrested and charged for being part of a disorderly group inside the Capitol building.
Troy Police Chief David Ellis caused a controversy when he was interviewed as being at the protest that took place ahead of the riot on Jan. 6.
Ellis talked to a reporter and denounced the violence against police officers perpetrated by the rioters. Five people were killed in the violence, including a police officer.