Portsmouth man charged with crimes connected to the Jan. 6 insurrection
The co-owner of a former Crossfit gym in Portsmouth has been charged by federal agents in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and investigators say his running shoes helped identify him from footage of the event.
The FBI alleges that Jeffrey Etter, the cofounder of now-closed Crossfit SLICE, actively participated in the insurrection to overturn the 2020 election results, including entering the Capitol building.
According to court documents filed last week, federal agents received an anonymous tip about Etter. After reviewing the tip, agents used Facebook videos of Etter to identify a “distinctive” pair of shoes he wears. Agents then identified those same shoes worn by a man matching Etter’s description in insurrection footage that was posted to the social media site Parler along with other footage of the event.
The FBI also alleges that cellphone location data puts Etter’s phone in the same area as the United States Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021.
Etter is charged with several crimes, including entering a restricted building to disrupt government business and uttering “loud, threatening, or abusive language” within the Capitol to disrupt government proceedings.
According to the FBI, footage from multiple body cameras from the Metropolitan Police Department as well as closed-circuit TV shows Etter at the northwest exterior of the Capitol and inside the building near the Senate Wing Doors.
“In this footage, Etter is loudly screaming profanity and obscenities, while facing the MPD Officers, pointing his finger, and in one instance walking toward the MPD officers in a threatening-like manner,” the documents read.
The FBI alleges tter entered the building at 2:56 p.m. and walked through the Capitol Crypt three minutes later.
“At one point, Etter shouts to the crowd, ‘Inside, hey they said go inside,’ while holding his hands up motioning for the crowd to go inside the Capitol,” the filing continues. “Etter is also observed attempting to approach the MPD Officers yelling, ‘She’s ready to (expletive) hit somebody, go ahead hit me then … you wanna hit somebody …,’ before he’s pulled back by an individual standing next to him.”
According to the FBI’s timeline, he left the building at 3:32 p.m., but stayed near the building for another hour. On March 25, 2022, federal agents spoke with a neighbor of Etter, who identified him in a screenshot of MPD footage from the insurrection.
In the months and years following the Capitol riot, the FBI has charged more than 1,000 people in connection to the event. Charges range from trespassing to property crimes.
Eliza Noe, email@example.com