Two members of Civil Air Patrol arrested for roles in Capitol riot

Two men from South Carolina who volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol were charged this week with unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, which led to the deaths of a Capitol Police officer and four other people.

The Post and Courier reported that Elliot Bishai and Elias Irizarry appeared at a federal court in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday and were released on $25,000 bond. Irizarry is a student at The Citadel, according to the newspaper, and both men planned to enter the military.

Their identities were reportedly gleaned by FBI agents from a tip sent in by an unnamed person who knew the two from their membership in the Gastonia Civil Air Patrol. They are charged with illegal entry, disorderly conduct in a restricted area and violent entry into the U.S. Capitol, according to a local news affiliate.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Hill has reached out to the national headquarters of the Civil Air Patrol for comment.

Family members told the newspaper that the two men were being unfairly lumped in with the worst elements of the Capitol siege. Dozens of police officers suffered grievous injuries during the riot, including one who lost an eye, while two other officers died by suicide in the days immediately following the attack.

“When you hear them say things about your child like that, and he’s put in with others that did so wrong, it’s hard,” Lorraine Irizarry told The Post and Courier.

Hundreds of individuals suspected of involvement in the Capitol riot have been arrested in the months since it occurred, and the FBI's website still lists many photos of rioters who have yet to be identified.

The agency has also worked in the weeks and months following the attack to debunk right-wing conspiracies blaming antifa or left-leaning activists for the violence.