Capitol riot: Byram Hills football jacket IDs Brian Gundersen

Michael P. McKinney
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

A North Castle native is facing charges in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 thanks to the Byram Hills High School varsity letterman jacket he was wearing, the FBI said.

North Castle police tipped off the FBI that Brian Gundersen, who played football and wrestled for the school in Armonk, was seen in photos and videos at the Capitol during the riot, the FBI said in a complaint and arrest warrant filed in federal court on Monday.

Gundersen, 26, had texted people on Jan. 5 that he and others “might be able to bum rush the [W]hite [H]ouse and take it over” and that he was going to go to “an event” at the Capitol “in 2 days that’s going to have millions of people to protest the results of our election," according to the complaint.

A text on Gundersen's phone on Jan. 8 read, “We all stormed the us capital [sic] and tried to take over the government,” the FBI said.

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The FBI received several tips from residents, local police and the Byram Hills Central School District.

The FBI said it interviewed a witness, identified in court documents as someone with a close relationship with Gundersen. According to the court filing, the witness said that Gundersen was an avid supporter of then-President Donald Trump and a follower of commentator Nick Fuentes, and that on the evening of Jan. 5, Gundersen left Pennsylvania to attend a Jan. 6 rally for Trump in Washington, D.C. 

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Jan 6, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rioters stand on the US Capitol building to protest the official election of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 6, 2021 on Washington DC.  Mandatory Credit: Thomas P. Costello-USA TODAY

Gundersen, according to court documents, told the FBI that he was pushed into the Capitol building by the crowd and that he was inside the building for about 10 minutes.

It was unclear early Tuesday whether Gundersen had been taken into custody.

The court document said Gundersen faces charges of:

  • knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted grounds without lawful authority;
  • knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds;
  • engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol buildings or grounds;
  • parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

Michael P. McKinney covers breaking news for the Journal News, the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Times Herald-Record.