A man who was accused of discharging bear spray at law-enforcement officers during the Capitol riot was arrested by the FBI after he enlisted in the Air Force

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U.S. Capitol Police officers push back rioters who were trying to break into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
Capitol Police officers facing rioters who were trying to break into the Capitol on January 6.Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo
  • Aiden Henry Bilyard, 19, was arrested on Monday in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

  • Bilyard is accused of using bear spray on police officers and breaking a window at the Capitol.

  • Bilyard enlisted in the Air Force and was interviewed by FBI agents in August at a base in Texas.

Aiden Henry Bilyard, 19, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday on multiple charges in connection with the Capitol insurrection.

Bilyard, a resident of Cary, North Carolina, made his initial appearance in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina later that same day, the Department of Justice said.

Bilyard was arrested on multiple criminal charges, including aiding and abetting civil disorder, destroying government property, and assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon, a criminal complaint said.

Bilyard, dubbed by investigators as #HarvardSweats because of the sweatshirt he wore on January 6, was among the accused rioters in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol when he discharged a chemical irritant believed to have been bear spray to incapacitate law-enforcement officers, court documents said.

Video footage also captured Bilyard encouraging Mitchell Todd Gardner II, another accused rioter, to break a large glass window of the Capitol building with an ax. After, Bilyard used a canister and a baseball bat to shatter the lower portion of the glass window, he turned around to clap and shout, encouraging people to begin entering the building through the window, which led to the Senate terrace, the DOJ said.

Bilyard was interviewed by an FBI task-force officer on August 4 at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, where he was attending basic training, court documents said. During the interview, Bilyard said he was present at the Capitol on January 6, but that he only participated in lawful activities, court documents said.

When shown video evidence of his participation in criminal acts, Bilyard ended the interview, saying, "I think this is where I take my leave," court documents said.

Bilyard later separated from the Air Force and moved back to Cary, North Carolina.

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting Bilyard's case.

He is among more than 675 people who have been arrested for crimes related to the Capitol insurrection in the 10 months since January 6, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

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