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LaSalle County man faces up to 5 years in prison for role in Jan. 6 Capitol breach

Stills from a TikTok video Matthew Capsel posted from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
U.S. Department of Justice
Stills from a TikTok video Matthew Capsel posted from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

A LaSalle County man could spend up to five years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on Capitol Hill.

Matthew Capsel, 28, of Ottawa, pleaded guilty last week to interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.

Prosecutors say Capsel was among the rioters at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol. He posted videos on social media encouraging others to "hold the line," noting law enforcement only had "so much mace and we got all these patriots we aren't going to run out, they are going to run out."

Later, prosecutors said he joined a mob that overtook law enforcement officers attempting to secure the area around the inauguration bleachers.

He also joined a group of people who charged National Guard members on the west side of the Capitol after a curfew was implemented, court documents say. The documents state he pushed back against the troops for seven seconds before pepper spray was used, at which point he backed off.

Following Jan. 6, Capsel posted “On the 6[th] good men had to do a bad thing” on social media, as well as other messages about the insurrection.

Capsel was arrested on Jan. 16, 2021. He's due to be sentenced on Dec. 16.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.