Colorado pastor arrested in connection with Jan. 6 insurrection at U.S. Capitol
A Colorado pastor faces six charges in federal court for allegedly tearing down a fence at the U.S. Capitol and illegally entering the building during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that interrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Tyler Ethridge, 33, of Colorado Springs will face one felony charge of civil disorder and five misdemeanors. He is at least the 14th Coloradan to be arrested in connection to the insurrection.
Ethridge helped tear down a fence outside the Capitol and then climbed a media scaffolding to encourage the crowd to keep going, according to his arrest affidavit. He spent about 30 minutes inside the Capitol, where he filmed several videos he posted on social media.
“We stormed the Capitol,” Ethridge said in one video, according to his arrest warrant. “This is amazing. I hope this doesn’t get me thrown in jail. I’m officially a pastor. This is what pastors need to do… Christians, we need to infiltrate every area of society like this. Every area of society like this. Peacefully. But if it takes a little bit of aggression to barge through the walls that Satan separates us from the culture, it’s time for the body of Christ to infiltrate the culture.”
A tipster who said they knew Ethridge from Charis Bible College in Woodland Park identified him to federal authorities as one of the rioters.
In an interview with federal authorities, Ethridge said a friend offered him an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to attend then-President Donald Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, 2021. He told investigators that he marched with the crowd and entered the Capitol. He denied tearing down the fence, but investigators later found video showing him taking 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 for my involvement at the Capitol tomorrow in Denver.”
Etheridge is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.