IDAHO FALLS — Tyler Tew, the 39-year-old Idaho Falls man who was arrested for taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, was in and around the Capitol for more than two hours during the riot.
The information about how long Tew remained on the Capitol grounds was obtained from GPS data on his cellphone and was included in the criminal complaint against Tew, who faces two federal charges for his role in the riot.
The criminal complaint also detailed many of Tew’s interactions via texts and on social media as well as his reported attempts to delete evidence from his cellphone.
Five people died in the attack, including a police officer, the Associated Press reported. And two other officers killed themselves after. Hundreds of people were injured including 140 police officers, the Washington Post reported.
The riot caused $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol, the Washington Post reported.
Despite the damage, much of which was streamed live to viewers across the world, Tew downplayed the destruction and the assaults on law enforcement in a Facebook post, claiming he saw “absolutely zero vandalism aside from a broken door that I saw, I saw no fighting and only anger at our government for allowing an election to be stolen. …”
In text messages to unidentified recipients after the riot Tew said he’d been pepper sprayed while inside the Capitol.
“How bout pepper sprayed in the face for my country???? Lol,” Tew wrote.
The next day the recipient responded “Do you have any pics from yesterday”? to which Tew responded, “Yeah I got lots of pics lol… Some I don’t dare share lol. …”
Federal agents obtained a search warrant for Tew’s cellphone on June 1 and the FBI seized the telephone from Tew on June 3, the criminal complaint said.
“A review of the Galaxy revealed numerous missing data indicative that TEW likely deleted data from the Galaxy,” the complaint said. “For example, nearly all of the Internet history and location data was missing for the time between January 3, 2021 at 4:52:23PM and March 5, 2021 at 5:56:33PM MST. Also, only portions of text message or Facebook conversations were present on the Galaxy.”
In the time since the Capitol riot, Tew reportedly hasn’t expressed any remorse for his actions, telling one Facebook commenter on Jan. 12 that he was “Unafraid. Patriotic. Proud [wink face emoji],” according to the criminal complaint.
Tew is charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, punishable with up to one year in prison, and disorderly conduct in a capitol building, punishable with up to six months in prison.
Tew was set to make an initial appearance on the charges on Thursday via video. He was still being held in the Jefferson County Jail as of late Thursday afternoon.