Federal prosecutors have charged a Bayville man for his part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Gabriel Morgan Brown, 37, was charged with destruction or injury to buildings or property and committing an act of violence on the grounds of the Capitol. He was arrested at home on June 30.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation identified Brown in videos that he recorded himself and posted to social media. In them he can be seen kicking and stomping equipment belonging to media outlets as he encourages others to join him and steal the equipment. Brown can be heard saying, “Take a souvenir.” And later, “Anything good in there? Yeah, smash that [expletive].”
Zvonimir Joseph Jurlina, 31, of Bethpage, was charged with the same offenses, though it is unclear whether he knew Brown.
Some Bayville residents said they have seen Brown around the community wearing a camouflage jacket and hat, and on Memorial Day, they said, he sells miniature flags.
“I don’t know him personally but have seen him, and he’s always been an odd person — different,” Bayville Mayor Bob De Natale said. “Does it surprise me that he was photographed at the Capitol? No.”
Numerous at-tacks on members of the news media were documented Jan. 6. Many were har-assed, threatened, robbed and assaulted. Several news organizations had their equipment stolen, damaged or destroyed.
Former President Donald Trump urged his supporters for weeks to go to Washington, D.C., to stop the certification of the November presidential election results, which took place Jan. 6, because Trump said he did not, and still does not, believe that he lost to President Biden.
Thousands of people arrived in Washington that day. Waving Trump and Confederate flags, they showed their support for the former president at a rally that Trump led.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd. “We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
Invigorated, the protesters walked to the Capitol. Some became violent and overwhelmed law enforcement, pushing past police barricades. The protesters were able to temporarily stop Congress from counting electoral votes. Five people died of their injuries.
Asked about that day, former Bayville Mayor Doug Watson said that what he saw was not an insurrection. The videos show people who were upset on the steps of the Capitol, he said. But he added that he did not support what Brown did.
“I’m a Trump guy,” Watson said. “But I’m not out breaking anything. I have no sympathy for people breaking things.”
Richard Walka, of Bayville, said it is unfortunate that the country is so divided. He did not know that Brown had been arrested.
“It’s disturbing that he lives in Bayville,” Walka said. “Bayville is a quiet seaside community. I would never be involved in anything like what happened at the Capitol. There are a lot of extreme people out there.”
Christine Oddo, who also lives in Bayville, said she had seen Brown around town but did not know him. “It makes me fearful to have someone that radical in our community,” she said. “People are entitled to their opinions, of course. I always got the sense that he was a radical guy.”
Brown and Jurlina, according to the FBI charges, were on the northeast side of the Capitol, at a media staging area, when they tried to destroy the media equipment.
Video shows Brown later speaking with a bullhorn. “You stole the Senate from us, you stole the House from us, and now you think you’re going to steal the presidency from us?” he said. “Let me tell you something: You want to take peaceful revolution away from us? Well, you better prepare for [expletive] violent revolution. I don’t want violence. I believe in peaceful resolve. But you’re making it [expletive] impossible for us.”
De Natale said he didn’t want any radicals of any persuasion living in the village. “[Brown] should take that energy and put it to a good cause,” the mayor said. “I’d rather see a man volunteering to do something good. This disturbs me.”