A Colorado pastor faces six counts in federal court for allegedly breaking down a fence at the U.S. Capitol and illegally entering the building during the January 6, 2021 insurrection that disrupted certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Tyler Ethridge, 33, of Colorado Springs, will face one criminal charge of civil disorder and five misdemeanors. He is at least the 14th Colorado to be arrested in connection with the insurrection.
Ethridge helped to tear down a fence outside the Capitol and later climbed a media scaffold to encourage the crowd to continue, according to his arrest testimony. He spent about 30 minutes inside the Capitol, where he filmed several videos he posted on social media.
“We raided the Capitol,” Ethridge said in a video, according to his arrest warrant. “This is amazing. I hope this doesn’t throw me in jail. I am officially a pastor. This is what pastors need to do… Christians, we need to infiltrate all areas of society like this. All areas of society like that. Quietly. But if it takes a little aggression to break through the walls that Satan separates us from the culture, it’s time for the body of Christ to infiltrate the culture.”
An informant who said he knew Ethridge of Charis Bible College in Woodland Park identified him to federal authorities as one of the protesters.
In an interview with federal officials, Ethridge said a friend offered him an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to attend then-President Donald Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021. He told investigators he marched with the crowd and entered the Capitol. . He denied taking down the fence, but investigators later found a video showing him tearing it down, according to the affidavit.
Ethridge showed no remorse for his actions in social media posts following the riot, according to the complaint.
Ethridge was arrested Thursday in Denver. He posted on Facebook on Wednesday: “I will finally be arrested and charged with my involvement in the Capitol tomorrow in Denver.”
Etheridge is due to appear in court on Tuesday.