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Wisconsin man arrested after being part of Capitol riot

Associated Press



FILE - Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man who posted on Facebook that he was among those wanted for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during last week’s riot was arrested in Eau Claire on Tuesday and charged with a pair of misdemeanors in federal court.

Kevin Daniel Loftus, 52, made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court after being arrested for illegally entering either house of Congress, or adjacent areas, and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the Capitol. The first charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and the second is punishable by up to six months behind bars.

Loftus appeared via teleconference from Eau Claire where he sat handcuffed. He spoke only once, after being asked by U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker in Madison if he understood the terms of his release before a Friday hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. Loftus will be permitted to participate in that hearing from Wisconsin.

Crocker allowed Loftus to be released under conditions that he not leave Chippewa or Eau Claire counties, not possess firearms or other dangerous weapons, not drink alcohol, and not participate in any in-person protest or demonstration. His attorney did not object to any of the terms.

“This is serious stuff,” Crocker said. “If you screw up and violate a condition, I will probably detain you.”

The complaint shows pictures posted on Facebook and other social media of the man identified as Loftus holding an American flag and smiling inside the Capitol in the halls of Congress. The complaint shows social media comments by Loftus saying “One of 700 inside” and “That’s right folks some of us are in it to win it.”

Loftus also commented on a story about police releasing photos of suspects in the Capitol riots.

“i am wanted by the FBI for illegal entry,” he said.

The complaint said the FBI interviewed Loftus in Eau Claire on Saturday and he admitted to walking into the Capitol on Jan. 6 where he took several photos.

Loftus is among dozens of people across the country who are being charged in the riots that forced Congress to adjourn and go into hiding. A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

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