Karol Chwiesiuk, 29, was arrested on Friday and faces five misdemeanors, including entering a restricted building, disrupting government business, disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds intended to impede congressional proceedings.
Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Chwiesiuk was among a crowd of people who broke into and damaged the office of Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon. They also say that days before traveling to Washington to attend a rally in support of then-President Donald Trump, Chwiesiuk told a friend in a text message that he was going to “save the nation” and that he was “busy planning how ( expletive) communists. ” He later sent photos of himself inside the Capitol, according to prosecutors.
Chwiesiuk was on medical leave from the police department when he traveled to Washington for the attack, the complaint says.
Chwiesiuk appeared in federal court in Chicago on Friday. His attorney, Tim Grace, said Chwiesiuk has been a Chicago police officer since 2018 and previously served as a Cook County deputy sheriff. He was stripped of his police powers this week and is on duty. Grace saying.
Police Superintendent David Brown said during a news availability Friday that Chwiesiuk had his police powers taken away on June 2 after the department learned of his involvement in the attack.
Brown said that if the allegations are true, it is “a betrayal of all that we stand for.”
“What happened in Washington DC on January 6 was an absolute disgrace,” he said. “The fact that a Chicago police officer was charged in that attack on American democracy makes my blood boil.”
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, were killed in the attack and hundreds of people were injured. Two other officers later committed suicide. More than 450 people from across the country have been criminally charged.