A US woman’s phone call with friend lands her son in court over his involvement in Capitol Hill riot

A US woman’s phone call with friend lands her son in court over his involvement in Capitol Hill riot

The mother of a suspected rioter told her friend over the phone that her son had stormed the Capitol in January. The friend told her grandson, who called the FBI. Now the suspect faces charges over the uprising on Capitol Hill.

The suspect, Robert Lee Petrosh, 51, from New Jersey, appeared in court via videoconference on Tuesday. He faces multiple federal charges over his alleged role in the riot, including disorderly conduct and entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

According to court records cited by the media, the FBI had been aware of Petrosh’s alleged role in the riots even before the grandson’s report. Four days after the riot, an anonymous online tip-off placed Petrosh “on the steps” of the Capitol on January 6.

The grandson called the FBI a week later, provided the description of Petrosh and then identified him in the photos obtained by the FBI. Later, Petrosh was also identified by an FBI task force officer who said he had known the suspect for about 15 years.

The New Jersey man was released on a $50,000 bail on Tuesday and is due to appear in court again next week.

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Petrosh is among hundreds charged in connection with the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6. Many of them were turned in by relatives and friends who learned of their participation through social media or by word of mouth.

After the US presidential election, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol while Congress was formalizing Joe Biden’s victory. Lawmakers had to flee for safety while rioters vandalized the building. Five people died amid the uprising, where more than 140 were injured.

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