CHICAGO – Federal officials arrested a Chicago police officer on Friday in connection with his alleged role in the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Karol J. Chwiesiuk was arrested Friday morning at his residence in Chicago, according to Joseph Fitzpatrick, Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
He is charged with five federal misdemeanors alleging illegal entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Hill grounds, according to the federal complaint,which includes images of Chwiesiuk inside the building wearing a Chicago Police Department sweatshirt.
Chwiesiuk appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Chicago on Friday and was released on personal bail, Fitzpatrick said. The Chicago Police Department and police union officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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According to the complaint, Chwiesiuk texted someone on the Sunday before the attack, saying he was traveling to Washington to “save the nation” and “I’m crazy.” The person cooperated with authorities and said she had known Chwiesiuk for 10 years, according to the complaint.
Chwiesiuk left Chicago on Jan.4 and arrived in Washington on Jan.5, according to the complaint. He stayed at the Mayflower Hotel on reservation made by his sister, according to cell phone geolocation data cited in the complaint.
On January 5, Chwiesiuk received an email from a “Stop the Steal” email account calling for the “Patriots” to come to DC to “make history,” according to a copy of the email included in the complaint.
Chwiesiuk went to the Capitol the day before the attack and walked around the grounds, according to the complaint. In nearly half an hour, he sent 44 picture messages to three people “known to the FBI”, according to the complaint.
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On the morning of January 6, Chwiesiuk texted the individual that he “knocked out a comrade last night”. He uploaded a selfie of himself and a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat standing outside in a crowd.
Hours later, Chwiesiuk was inside the Capitol, according to several images, stills from security cameras and geolocation data included in the complaint. Inside, Chwiesiuk sent or received more than 70 text messages, according to the complaint.
“We are inside the capital lmfao,” Chwiesiuk wrote to the person in a text, along with a selfie taken in the office of Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, according to the complaint.