DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado Springs man who worked as a pastor was arrested Friday in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Tyler Earl Ethridge, 33, faces felony and misdemeanor charges. He was arrested in Denver.
The Justice Department gave this account of Ethridge’s alleged involvement, including an alleged social media post in which he identified himself as a pastor:
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Ethridge was among rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. He helped remove fencing erected on the northwest approach to the Capitol. He proceeded with the crowd past the barricades to the West Plaza outside the Capitol Building. As law enforcement officers attempted to clear the crowd, Ethridge climbed a media scaffolding and exhorted the crowd to keep fighting. He entered the Capitol Building at approximately 2:35 p.m. through the West Terrace Door. He then moved to the Rotunda, where he filmed several videos that he posted to social media. In one, he stated, “I’m probably going to lose my job as a pastor after this … I think we’re to a point where talk is cheap. If this makes me lose my, my reputation, I don’t care.”
Ethridge left the Rotunda area and joined a crowd of rioters between the Rotunda and Senate Chamber. The rioters were blocked by law enforcement officers who ordered them to disperse. Ethridge and others refused, but eventually were pushed out of the hallway. He returned to the Rotunda and then exited the building. He was inside the Capitol for approximately 30 minutes.
In the aftermath of Jan. 6, Ethridge remained active on social media. In one post, dated Sept. 24, 2021, he wrote, “Don’t be afraid of what they sentence you with. I’m not. I’m ready for whatever I’ll be charged with. America is still primed and ready.”U.S. Justice Department
Court records show Ethridge is set to make his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday.
Ethridge faces the following charges:
- Civil disorder
- Obstruction of an official proceeding
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
- Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
- Parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building
Danielle Ethridge, Tyler’s wife sent FOX21 News this statement:
“My husband and I have been waiting 19 months to answer for him entering the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
We do not agree with all the charges brought against him, but we refuse to take the victim card. He was not manipulated by President Trump’s claims of election fraud, nor was he influenced by the Practical Government School of Charis Bible College. Tyler’s own personal love and zeal for this country manifested that day. He did not go there to overthrow the government. He went to observe and report back to his friends and family what was going on that day.
I’m proud of my husband for protesting the stolen Presidential election of 2020. Despite having two church rejections, a family member turning us into the FBI, and a Charis Bible College affiliate reporting us to the FBI, we hold no malice towards anyone, and we forgive all. We stand firm in that decision, and hope for a fair trial. We are looking to Paul Looney to represent us out of Texas when we have the finances to do so.
We thank all of you who have come alongside us with prayers and financial help thus far. It has not been an easy road, but we will always remain steadfast in faith.
The claims that my husband is a white supremacist, terrorist, insurrectionist, christian nationalist are laughable to not just us, but to all who know my husband. He’s bold in what he believes. I admire that. Many others do as well. Our nation could use more men like my husband.”Danielle Ethridge
According to the Justice Department, more than 850 people have been arrested since the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.