Taylor man charged with storming Capitol during deadly riot

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — Federal agents on Tuesday arrested a Taylor man accused of storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, the latest among a growing number of people from Michigan charged in connection with the deadly riot.

Jeramiah Caplinger, 25, is the seventh Michiganian charged and is expected to make an initial appearance later Tuesday in federal court. The charges include knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and climbing on U.S. Capitol grounds.

Jeramiah Caplinger talks as he wears a red Trump 2020 hat and holds a Trump 2020 flag attached to a U.S. flag, all three of which he took into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In an 11-page filing, FBI special agent Jeffrey Lowrey said Caplinger was identified as being in the Capitol on Jan. 6 through still images from YouTube and social media wearing "a red bucket hat," a "striped shirt" and carrying a "carrying a tree branch with a flag attached."

Lowrey said a tipster whom he called "W-2," who said he worked with the suspect for one year, identified Caplinger in a series of social media posts.

"W-2 stated he and other employees watched a video on Twitter of an individual that they believed to be CAPLINGER scaling a wall at the U.S. Capitol," the agent wrote in the filing. "W-2 noted that he recognized the jacket that the individual in the video was wearing as the same one that CAPLINGER had worn to work previously."

Caplinger was charged more than one month after telling The Detroit News that he wandered the Capitol halls during the insurrection.

“I didn’t break anything. I didn’t hurt anyone,” he told The News. “I was just going to cheer on senators.”

The others charged with storming the Capitol are:

Karl Dresch, 40, of Calumet, who is being held without bond, is accused of illegally entering the Capitol. Prosecutors shared photographs posted on Facebook, including one with the title “We are in" that a U.S. Capitol police officer confirmed shows the inside of the U.S. Capitol Building. The photo shows "specifically, the 'Crypt,' a location under the rotunda in the center of the Capitol," according to a court filing.

Anthony Robert Williams, 45, of Troy, who is free on bond. Williams is accused of breaking into the U.S. Capitol in January and bragging how he "pushed back the cops."

Daniel Herendeen, 43, of Chesterfield Township and Bobby Schornak, 39, of Roseville were charged with obstructing Congress, breaking into the Capitol and disorderly conduct. They are free on bond.

Michael Joseph Foy, 30, of Wixom. Federal prosecutors said Foy on Jan. 6 struck law enforcement at least 10 times with a hockey stick that had carried a President Donald Trump flag earlier in the day. Foy, who is being held without bond, later rallied others to climb through broken windows in the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors said, citing a YouTube video and police body camera footage. 

A YouTube video shown at a federal court hearing Monday caught the moment a man authorities believe to be Michael Foy attacked police guarding an entrance to the Capitol with a hockey stick that bore a Trump flag earlier in the day.

James Allen Mels, 56, of Shelby Township. Mels posted selfies after entering the Capitol and told investigators he traveled to Washington, D.C., with 11 other "like-minded Patriots" because "he believed the 2020 presidential election to have been fraudulently decided," according to a federal court filing. The sheet metal worker was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond following an initial appearance in federal court in Detroit.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @robertsnellnews