A Long Island man who allegedly stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, then bragged to a high school friend on Instagram that he would "storm the Capitol for you any day," was charged by federal authorities on Wednesday.
Christopher Ortiz, 27, was arrested at his parents' home in Huntington, Long Island after allegedly filming his participation in the January 6th insurrection. In videos he uploaded to his Instagram story, Ortiz can be heard shouting "Yeah! We're at the door!" as rioters entered the Capitol building, according to court filings, before shouting "Onward! Onward!"
Multiple individuals reached out to the FBI after watching the videos, with one of them sharing screenshots of direct messages seemingly confirming Ortiz's involvement, prosecutors said.
When one Instagram friend asked Ortiz what he was doing, he allegedly replied “participating in government!" before adding: “Lol they can come and get me; I didn’t break or vandalize or steal; I walked through and out.”
He was charged in federal court on Wednesday with knowingly entering a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on federal grounds. After agreeing to surrender his passport and to avoid Washington D.C., except for court appearances, he was released on a $60,000 bond provided by his parents.
Prior to his court appearance, Ortiz told the Daily Mail that he was only trying to "understand" the pro-Trump mob.
"I'm not somebody who walks around wearing a MAGA hat, I'm not that kind of person," he said. "I wanted to understand what's going on with the people I don't really align with."
Federal authorities have charged dozens of New York and New Jersey residents for their alleged role in the insurrection. They will be charged by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.