Metro Detroit man bragged about storming U.S. Capitol during siege


Detroit — Federal agents Friday arrested a Troy man who is accused of breaking into the U.S. Capitol in January during a deadly siege and bragging how he “pushed back the cops.”

Anthony Robert Williams, 45, is the sixth person from Michigan charged in connection with the insurrection that followed a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 that included a speech by President Donald Trump.

FBI investigators portray Williams as a selfie-taking braggart and Trump supporter who disputed the presidential election results and recorded himself talking about his success breaking into the Capitol.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Williams said, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court.

Williams, a painter, is charged with illegally entering a restricted building, obstructing official proceedings, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a petition filed in federal court Friday. Prosecutors want to transfer Williams to federal court in Washington, D.C.

A masked Williams appeared briefly in federal court in Detroit wearing a red-and-black shirt. He received a court-appointed lawyer, Stacey Studnicki, who did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Williams was released on $10,000 unsecured bond and ordered to surrender his passport and attend a virtual court hearing in D.C. next week.

“You’re to stay away from Washington, D.C., except for court appearances or consultation with your attorney,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Altman told him. “Do you agree to abide by those conditions?”

“I do, 100 percent, your honor,” Williams said.

The Williams case started with an online tip that he broke into the Capitol along with hundreds of others during the siege. The tipster described since-deleted Facebook posts showing Williams inside the Capitol, according to an affidavit filed in court by an FBI agent.

Investigators found photos of Williams at the Capitol and obtained phone records showing his phone inside the building on Jan. 6, according to the FBI agent. Investigators have used digital tools to determine which phones connected to WiFi inside the building or nearby cell towers.

Facebook provided photos and videos from his account showing Williams inside the building, according to the government.

“In the videos, among other things, Williams discussed his success in entering the building, saying ‘desperate times call for desperate measures,'” the FBI agent wrote. “He also poses next to and around statues and in other areas of the Capitol.”

In another video, Williams talks about how he “stormed” the building and “pushed back the cops,”  the FBI agent wrote.

“We took this f—— building,” Williams said, according to the affidavit.

Facebook also provided posts that reveal Williams planned to travel to Washington, D.C., to “storm the swamp.” In one photo, Williams is shown in a bar with at least five others.

“Yep, we pissed and we coming to Congress,” he wrote in one post. “Be prepared to #FightBack.”

His Facebook page served as a travelogue of his trip to the nation’s capital. Williams posted photos during a stop in Pennsylvania with the caption “Operation Storm the Swamp,” according to the FBI.

In another post, Williams called himself an “Operation Storm Swamp Veteran” after the siege.

The charges come one week after Daniel Herendeen, 43, of Chesterfield Township and Bobby Schornak, 39, of Roseville were charged with obstructing Congress, breaking into the Capitol and disorderly conduct.

The men are portrayed in an unsealed FBI memo filed in federal court as friends who planned together to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally. The planning included packing body armor, a knife, helmets and gear that included “Antifa spray,” according to the FBI.

They are free on $10,000 unsecured bond.

More than 250 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the siege and there are ongoing investigations targeting several hundred additional people, according to prosecutors.

“The spectrum of crimes charged and under investigation in connection with the Capitol Attack includes (but is not limited to) trespass, engaging in disruptive or violent conduct in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds, destruction of government property, theft of government property, assaults on federal and local police officers, firearms offenses, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, possession and use of destructive devices, murder, sedition and conspiracy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell wrote in a court filing.

The three other Michiganians charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection are:

• 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. 

• Karl Dresch, 40, of Calumet was denied bond after allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

• 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 $10,000 unsecured bond following an initial appearance in federal court in Detroit.

Come back to www.detroitnews.com for more on this developing story.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @robertsnellnews 





Source link

If you travel for spring break, get tested for COVID-19 or self-quarantine for 10 days, Metro Health says


SAN ANTONIO – Spring break is just around the corner for several San Antonio-area schools and some families are expected to travel.

But, with this in mind, health officials have some guidelines on how to return from spring break safely to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The safest way to spend spring break is to enjoy time with the people in your household, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. However, if you do decide to travel, Metro Health urges residents to take these actions once you return.

  • Get tested for the coronavirus 3-5 days after travel, and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel.

  • If you opt not to get tested, health officials urge you to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who did not travel with you.

  • Wear a face mask when in public settings and avoid being around people who are at an increased risk.

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate in most Texas counties. Effective Wednesday, March 10, the mask mandate will be lifted and all businesses, regardless of classifications, are allowed to open at 100% capacity.

Ad

Still, area health experts are strongly encouraging residents to keep wearing their masks when out in public and to keep following health protocols to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

There are also many privately-owned places in the state that still require masks, despite the governor’s lifted mandate. By not abiding by this, some may face consequences.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.



Source link

Metro Detroit leaders respond to the repeal of Trump’s ‘Muslim travel ban’


DETROIT – One of President Joe Biden’s first moves in the White House was to repeal former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

When Trump enacted the travel ban, thousands of Metro Detroiters protested nearly immediately.

There was anger, fear and frustration in many communities. Initially the ban restricted travel from many Middle Eastern countries. Legal challenges went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Trump won.

Wednesday, Biden repealed the ban.

“There are a lot of people here in Metro Detroit who had family members impacted by this ban,” said Dawud Walid, with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We’re hopeful this is showing a pivot from the White House, from the old administration in how it deals with Muslims as a whole.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell said she has lost count of how many families across Michigan reached out to elected officials for help.

“You have no idea how many people have called me crying. These are cases our office with deals with all the time,” Dingell said. “We have to do a much better job understanding what our national security requires, who is our enemy who isn’t our enemy and how we track terrorist groups, no matter where they from.”

More: White House News

Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.



Source link

B.C. woman replaces international travel with SkyTrain adventures around Metro Vancouver


When pandemic travel bans put an end to Rachel Marshik’s annual travel plans, she wrote out the names of all 53 SkyTrain stations in Metro Vancouver and tossed the pieces of paper in a bowl for a project aimed at satisfying her wanderlust.

Every day last summer, the 35-year-old teacher from New Westminster drew out one of them, planned an itinerary of nearby sights and boarded a train to start her adventure. Setting out on foot for hours, she visited landmarks, local businesses and Industrial parks — finding beauty in art and even garbage.

“I wanted to emulate the feeling of seeing something new, where you don’t know what you’re expecting and where it’s sort of out of your hands,” she said.

Murals in the alleys behind Main Street in Vancouver photographed by Rachel Marshik during the summer of 2020 when she walked the neighbourhoods around all 53 SkyTrain stations in Metro Vancouver. (Rachel Marshik)

Marshik said she came up with the project to try and recreate the thrill of travelling she’s done each summer since she was 19. She teaches at Burnsview Secondary School in Delta and has been all over Europe and also visited Africa and South America.

One summer she went to China to learn more about the country after teaching a class about the country’s ancient history.

“I’m rather addicted to travel,” she said.

But in 2020, when she knew it would not be business as usual with flights cancelled and advice against unnecessary travel, she came up with different travel plans.

She based the project on the way she travels when abroad, often looking up an area to visit, taking transit close by and exploring on foot, letting the day unfold spontaneously.

“You get to see things that are more unexpected,” she said. “You get to let the things you see choose where you go.”

The view from the Cambie Street Bridge near the Broadway City Hall SkyTrain station in Vancouver. (Rachel Marshik)

Marshik’s took a non-judgmental approach to the great variety in landscapes around the stations. Some are in dense urban centres, others on the fringes of leafy residential neighbourhoods while others are near industrial parks ringed by thoroughfares.

She saw people out and about, beautiful gardens, heritage homes and public art, but also dumped garbage and burned sofas.

A family out for a bike ride near Lansdowne SkyTrain station in Richmond. (Rachel Marshik)

Near the Scott Road SkyTrain Station in Surrey, an area which seems to have limited appeal to someone on foot, she found a forested path adorned with a teddy bear and a shop where she could buy South American candies. Even a torched sofa caught her eye and the lens of her camera.

“And I mean charcoal is beautiful in the sunlight, so that was still nice to see in a way,” she said.

Charcoal in a burned couch in Surrey gleams in the sunglight, says Marshik. (Rachel Marshik)

Another location that was memorable was the neighbourhood around the Marine Drive SkyTrain station at the foot of Cambie Street in Vancouver.

She wasn’t expecting much, thinking the area would be mostly dominated by high-rise developments. But even there she found inspiring public art before discovering beautiful heritage homes and gardens in Marpole, including the childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa.

“It was a really amazing walk in a neighbourhood that I didn’t realize had that much heritage and history that you could still see so visibly,” she said.

A photograph by Marshik taken inside from Douglas Coupland’s Golden Tree art installation near the Marine Road SkyTrain station in Vancouver. (Rachel Marshik)

Marshik shared her photos and experiences over email with a group of 20 friends and family, just as she does when she is out of the country. She said doing it for her SkyTrain station adventures helped her keep in touch with people during the summer.

“And so it was a project that wasn’t just for me,” she said.

Marshik is thinking of other ways to feed her travel bug if pandemic restrictions continue through to next summer. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

She is now thinking about something similar for 2021 if travel is still limited next summer. She encourages others to make plans for similar projects to cope in these uncertain times.

“You’re witnessing what people are doing in all these different neighbourhoods, whether it’s struggles they’re having or whether it’s ways they’re trying to reach out. You feel more part of the experience of the whole city.”



Source link