‘I’m willing to die, are you?'” Marin man charged in U.S. Capitol riot investigation

Olive Boneflayer

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A U.S. Capitol rioter identified as Evan Neumann of Mill Valley pushes against the police barricades.(U.S. Department of Justice)

Federal authorities are hunting for a Mill Valley man accused of attacking police during the riot at the U.S. Capitol this year.

Evan Neumann, 48, is charged with six counts, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

The Department of Justice filed the charges in late March, but the case was initially kept under seal. The prosecution sought the seal “to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation and to protect law enforcement,” U.S. Assistant Attorney Brian Kelly wrote in a motion.

The prosecution asked a judge to lift the seal to get the public’s help in tracking Neumann down. The judge granted the request on June 29.

The unsealed documents include a 16-page affidavit by an FBI agent detailing the allegations against Neumann.

During the bedlam on Jan. 6, Neumann was captured on a Capitol police officer’s body camera. Neuman was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, an orange scarf, a black coat, and blue jeans. He had a gas mask with a red mouthpiece, according to the affidavit.

The FBI said in the video Neumann removes his gas mask, berates police, and threatens an officer, saying, “I’m willing to die, are you?”

Neumann allegedly grabbed a metal barricade between police and the crowd, shoved it into the line of officers, and threw punches at an officer, the FBI alleged. At one point, Neumann lifted the barricade and charged toward the police line, striking officers, the FBI said.

The FBI released images of Neumann on Jan. 27 seeking the public’s help to identify him. A tipster who called the FBI identified Neumann as the suspect and provided a residence in Mill Valley.

To confirm his identity, investigators compared riot images of Neumann with his passport photo and a 2018 news report that documented his arrest for violating orders not to enter the Santa Rosa disaster area during the wildfires, the FBI said.

According to Neumann’s LinkedIn profile, in 2004 and 2005, he attended the Ukrainian Orange Revolution, a series of mass protests after pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko defeated Viktor Yanukovych in a repeat runoff election. A scarf commemorating the event resembles the orange scarf seen worn by Neumann during the Capitol insurrection, the FBI said.

Cellphone records with GPS data showed that Neumann’s phone was in the U.S. Capitol building or restricted areas on Jan. 6, the FBI said.

Agents surveilled Neumann’s home, and on Feb. 16 they followed him to the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport, where they interviewed him. Neumann acknowledged flying to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 and returning on Jan. 7, “but declined to elaborate further or to answer if he had any physical engagement with law enforcement,” the FBI said. Neumann did not return phone calls or emails requesting comments. The FBI declined to comment on the status of the investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not respond to the request for comment.

In the six months since the insurrection, more than 520 people have been charged with federal crimes, according to news reports. More than 100 have been charged with assaulting police officers, while others have been charged with destroying camera equipment belonging to journalists covering the riot.

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