Another NJ man busted in Capitol riot: ‘Dating expert’ took video, FBI says
A self-described dating and relationship strategist is the latest to be arrested in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 6.
Patrick Stedman, of Haddonfield, was arrested on Thursday and was scheduled to have his first hearing in federal court in Camden in the afternoon. He lives with his parents in their Camden County home, according to the FBI's affidavit against him.
According to the affidavit, Stedman posted a video on his Twitter account during the riot at the Capitol. In the video he says he made it into the Senate chamber.
"I was pretty much in the first wave, and we broke down the doors and climbed up the back part of the Capitol building and got all the way into the chambers," Stedman says in the video, according to the affidavit.
A college roommate tipped off the FBI on Monday, officials said.
He tweeted a photo of a crowd outside the Senate chamber door during the incursion.
Another witness told the FBI that Stedman had encouraged his 25,000 Twitter followers to join him in Washington for an event he predicted would be commemorated by a national holiday in the future.
"You will want to tell your grandchildren you were there," according to a tweet that was included in the affidavit.
Stedman traveled to Washington via train, according to the affidavit, and said on his Twitter account that it was delayed because a sleeping passenger whose mask fell off had to be removed from the train.
"MAGA not happy," he reportedly tweeted.
From the Capitol, he posted video and photos of himself, according to the affidavit, and said the images being shown by the media of the Capitol were not true.
"I can tell you having been in the Capitol these video the MSM (mainstream media) is showing of fights between cops and protestors are unlike any of the dynamics I saw. Does this look like a 'tense' scene to you?” he is quoted as saying.
In another Twitter post, Stedman posted: “[s]hots fired, guns drawn by guards."
On his dating website, Stedman promotes his business as allowing members to "learn what women want. Become the man they crave."
Stedman is the third person from New Jersey have been charged in connection with the riot. Leonard Guthrie, of Cape May County, was charged with unlawful entry but said he did not enter the Capitol building.
Thomas Baranyi, of Ewing, who claimed in a TV interview that he was next to Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot by a Capitol officer, was charged with disorderly or disruptive conduct.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a native of South River, was killed during the siege but no one has been charged with his death.
During the melee, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.