Auburn man, arrested during riots said he went to D.C. to ‘support the patriots’

Auburn man, arrested during riots said he went to D.C. to ‘support the patriots’
(Source: Lee County Jail)

AUBURN, Ala. (WBRC) -William Watson, who was out on bond on drug charges on the condition he not leave the state of Alabama, was arrested on charges of participating in the riot inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

In court filings from January 17, Watson was accused of: 1) committed or attempted to commit, any act to obstruct, impede, or interfere with any fireman or law enforcement officer lawfully engaged in the lawful performance of his official duties incident to and during the commission of a civil disorder which in any way or degree obstructed, delayed, or adversely affected the performance of any federally protected function; (2) did knowingly enter or remain in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, or did knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, and during and in relation Case 1:21-mj-00097-ZMF Document 1-1 Filed 01/17/21 Page 1 of 16 2 to the offense, used and carried a deadly and dangerous weapon; and (3) did willfully and knowingly engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress, or the orderly conduct in that building of any deliberations of either House of Congress.

Investigators said Watson was carrying a can of mace and joined people to forcibly enter the U.S. Capitol and disturb the business of Congress.

Prosecutors said Watson was identified in photographs of the riot dressed in a yellow sweatshirt standing next to a man with a horned hat.

Pictures from court records
Pictures from court records (Source: United States District Court)
Pictures from court records
Pictures from court records (Source: United States District Court)

Watson was arrested in Auburn.

Authorities say they were also able to identify Watson by the distinctive tattoos on his hand, which Watson wrote about online.

This is from court records:

According to WATSON, WATSON and Person 1, WATSON’s friend, left Auburn, Alabama around 7:00 p.m. on January 5, 2021, and drove through the night to Washington, D.C., arriving around 6:30 a.m. on January 6, 2021. WATSON stated he went to Washington, D.C., to “support the patriots, support Trump, support freedom.” WATSON continued, “I guess the overriding thing for why we were Case 1:21-mj-00097-ZMF Document 1-1 Filed 01/17/21 Page 5 of 16 6 there that day is because they were certifying the fraudulent election that day, and so we, to protest that.” c. WATSON stated that after arriving in Washington, D.C., early in the day on January 6, 2021, he was by the Ellipse, the area south of the White House. According to WATSON, at some point, he saw others walking toward the U.S. Capitol and WATSON followed. WATSON worked his way to the front of the crowd at the stage which had been set up on the west side of the U.S. Capitol Building for the Presidential Inauguration. WATSON also stated that he had been following the schedule Alex Jones1 had promoted, which, according to Watson, directed others to meet at the Ellipse at 9:00 a.m. and then the U.S. Capitol at 1:00 p.m. to protest while Congress was certifying the Electoral College votes. d. WATSON stated he did not bring anything to the event, except a bottle of water. He further stated that he brought a taser with him, but left it in the car. e. WATSON stated that, at the law enforcement barriers at the U.S. Capitol, the crowd started chanting, among other things, that the law enforcement officers’ “oaths were to protect us, not them.” WATSON further explained, “I mean, it is to protect all of us, but not if they’re committing treason.” f. WATSON claimed that at one point, law enforcement officers began spraying tear gas and mace into the crowd. WATSON stated someone “on our side, just yelled, ‘Charge,’ and everybody starts going up to the left under the Inauguration g. WATSON stated he then approached the U.S. Capitol building and began banging on windows, “trying to get people to hear me.” After someone else in the crowd busted windows and the doors nearby, WATSON went into the U.S. Capitol building through a broken window. h. At some point after entry, WATSON stated that he arrived in a hallway with several other individuals from the crowd and encountered several law enforcement officers. WATSON stated that some of the individuals in the crowd that arrived with him had shields and batons and that one man had a spear and was dressed like a Viking. WATSON stated that, when they arrived in the hallway, “the police are freaking out because it looks like an armed crowd running in there and, at that point, was when I went straight up to the first cop and literally got on my knees and was like, ‘listen, I want to be peaceful here, we have to be peaceful here. I want to help you get these people peaceful so that we can have a conversation.”

An investigator said he reviewed a video posted on YouTube that was recorded by another person during the breach. In the video prosecutors said Watson can be seen moving toward the U.S. Capitol Building as the police barriers outside were breached by the crowd. They said Watson was holding something that appeared to be a canister and he was doing something to the top of it.

This picture is taken from that video:

Photo taken from video submitted into court evidence
Photo taken from video submitted into court evidence (Source: United States District Court)

Again, Watson’s charges are:

  • 18 USC 231(a)(3) Civil Disorders
  • 18 USC 1752(a), (b)(1)(A) Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon
  • 40 USC 5104(e)(2) Violent Entry or Disorderly Conduct

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