Feds accuse 2 Ohio men of illegally entering U.S. Capitol

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins - Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two Ohio men illegally entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and one of them stole a coat rack while he was in the building, according to a federal complaint.

The two are among dozens charged nationally with being part of a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump who breached the building. Dustin Thompson and Robert Lyon, both of central Ohio, face preliminary charges of illegally entering the Capitol and violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds. Thompson is also accused of stealing the coat rack.

They were scheduled for a Monday afternoon court hearing. Thompson did not comment as he approached the federal courthouse in Columbus on Monday morning. His attorney, Sam Shamansky, did not comment but promised a response after the hearing.

Messages were left for phone numbers for Lyon. He did not appear to have an attorney as of Monday.

Lyon told FBI agents the two drove to Washington together and that it was Thompson’s idea to go. The two had known each other for a few years and had met at a university, according to an FBI affidavit detailing the alleged crimes.

Lyon initially said they became separated when they arrived at the Capitol. Lyon told investigators he was not inside the Capitol, but security images show that he was, according to the affidavit.

In one video taken inside the Capitol, Thompson yelled, “Wooooo! ’Merica Hey! This is our house!” the FBI said.

Other video shows Thompson entering the Capitol, going into an office, then leaving the Capitol a few minutes later holding a bottle of bourbon. Video then shows Thompson returning to the Capitol with Lyon, entering the office again, and then leaving with the coat rack, the affidavit said.

After the riot, two Capitol police officers came across Thompson, who was wearing a Trump 2020 hat and a bullet proof vest, and Lyon, who had a Trump 2020 flag, according to the FBI.

Thompson ran away but Lyon stayed and cooperated, the affidavit said. The FBI interviewed Lyon at his house in Columbus on Jan. 11.

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Associated Press