CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was arrested on the Northwest Side Wednesday in connection with the assault on the U.S. Capitol last week.
Kevin Lyons, 40, was arrested at his home in the Gladstone Park neighborhood. A criminal complaint said he admitted to entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.READ MORE: COVID Test Confusion After Suburban Family Believes They Got False Result from University Of Illinois SHIELD Program
A picture taken by a neighbor Wednesday showed FBI agents looking through Lyons’ HVAC truck. Electronics and other items were removed from the home.
At an initial hearing in federal court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Fuentes said Lyons is accused of joining a crowd that “unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol.”
Investigators focused on Lyons’ social media, which includes several pictures of him in body armor holding guns.
In a criminal complaint, an FBI agent reported that after the Capitol riot – which took place on Wednesday, Jan. 6 – law enforcement reviewed an Instagram account that they confirmed belonged to Lyons.
The Instagram account included a screenshot of a map tracing the route to Lyons’ home to the Washington, D.C. area, with a post beside it reading, “I refuse to tell my children that I sat back and did nothing. I am heading to DC to STOP THE STEAL!”
Lyons’ Instagram account also posted a photo depicting a sign that read “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,” with a caption under it, “WHOS HOUSE?!?!? OUR HOUSE!!”
The FBI interviewed Lyons this past Friday in Chicago. Lyons admitted that he was in Washington, D.C. two days earlier, but at first was evasive about whether he entered the Capitol building, the agent reported in the complaint.
Lyons said he “100% guaranteed, without incriminating himself” that he saw nothing being dragged from the Capitol.
He also claimed he had a dream that he saw a lot of banging on doors, paper being thrown around, and a mob of people, and he said in his dream, “people really didn’t have much choice of where they were going because of the mob,” the complaint said. Lyons advised that if he were inside, he was inside for approximately 45 minutes, the complaint said.
Then, Lyons was shown the photo reading, “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and he said, “Wow, you are pretty good. That was only up for only an hour.” He also said he could not guarantee he was the one who posted it to Instagram, but when agent asked him to show them his camera roll on his phone, the photo was there, the complaint said.
When asked if there were other pictures from the Capitol building on his phone, Lyons showed the agents another picture of the wooden plaque with Pelosi’s name, and a video showing a large group of people walking through what appeared to be the U.S. Capitol, the complaint said.
When asked if he would give FBI agents a copy of the video, he said the file would be too big and instead offered to upload the videos to YouTube and email the links, the complaint said.
The complaint said Lyons went on to email an FBI agent with the words: “Hello Nice FBI Lady, Here are the links to the videos. Looks like Podium Guy is in one of them, less the podium. Let me know if you need anything else. Kevin Lyons.”
One of the videos Lyons emailed to the agent showed a large group of people outside the Capitol with Lyons speaking throughout, the complaint said. The second showed people in what appeared to be a Capitol hallway with Lyons’ voice also heard, and a third showed people in the Rotunda, the complaint said. The videos were posted to Lyons’ YouTube channel, the complaint said.
Lyons told agents he had gone to Washington, D.C. to attend President Trump’s rally and described himself as a tourist, the complaint said. He said he took an Uber to the Washington Monument where the rally was held, and had only planned to attend the rally, the complaint said.
But he said while walking along Pennsylvania Avenue, he heard “flash bangs” and saw people walking toward him with red faces, the complaint said. He said the crowd pushed toward the Capitol building, and there was not much he could do to escape because he only weighs 140 pounds, the complaint said.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
He said near the Capitol, he saw people tearing up scaffolding and climbing the walls, and he said he went up the stairs and walked in a door, the complaint said.
Inside the Capitol, Lyons said he first walked around the Rotunda and took a moment to look at the statues and gather his bearings, the complaint said. He said he then walked upstairs to the second floor, but did not go to the House of Representatives’ Chamber because he did not know where it was, the complaint said.
But Lyons admitted to going into the “big boss” office, referring to Pelosi’s office, the complaint said. He said he did take that picture of the plaque outside Pelosi’s office and uploaded the photo to Instagram, the complaint said.
Lyons said Pelosi’s office was a “good size” office and there were about 20 to 30 people already inside when he walked in. He said he saw a broken mirror, but was told it was broken before he entered, the complaint said.
Lyons said while he was in Pelosi’s office, a Capitol Police officer entered with his 40mm pistol drawn. Lyons he raised his arms above his head as the officer told him to get out, and he left, the complaint said.
Lyons said as he walked back to the first floor, he found the second floor was filled with tear gas and he passed by several officers with AR-15 rifles, the complaint said. He said upon leaving the Capitol, he got in his car and left Washington, D.C., the complaint said.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, those who know Lyons said he wasn’t shy about his opinions.
“Yes, I’ve had interactions with Kevin. Generally, he seemed a nice guy. He was opinionated. He had opinions about stuff,” said Marc Bilek. “That’s all I could say.”
Asked to elaborate on Lyons’ opinions, Bilek said: “He was a Trump supporter. He was a Republican in every way, and he was pretty mad about the abuse of the government, or his opinion was the government’s abusing people.”
Lyons faces misdemeanor charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct in Capitol.
“It should never have happened. It could have been avoided, you know, and to me, that was a big no – I’m ashamed of our current president, you know, and his response to it, you know?” said another neighbor, Ribel Borreo.
When asked for her reaction about one of her neighbors being arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, Borreo said, “I’m amazed – I’m like, I mean, I can’t even put it into words.”
Lyons has a previous criminal record in Cook County. The mugshot below is from an arrest by Chicago Police in 2014.
The 2014 arrest was on a charge of obstruction of a police officer, but the charge was later dismissed.
The U.S. Attorney’s office is not seeking to have Lyons held in jail in the case and agreed to preliminary bond. An unsecured bond was set at $4,500, but the judge said that was too low and changed it to $10,000.
The judge said due to the timing of the hearing, the release order may not clear until Thursday morning at the latest.
Lyons’ next hearing is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. It will be at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. and will be virtual.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar contributed to this report.MORE NEWS: CTA Red, Orange, Green Line Trains Left Standing At Roosevelt During Afternoon Rush Due To Police Activity
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