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Man charged in Jan. 6 riot stole Capitol officer's hat, wore it on his YouTube channel, officials say

NBC News logo NBC News 10/19/2021 Antonio Planas
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A man charged with breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6 is also accused of stealing a jacket and hat from a Capitol Police officer and then bragging about it to colleagues, according to federal court documents.

Darrell Neely was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday and charged with theft of government property for allegedly participating in the Capitol riot, court documents show. Neely told three co-workers about how he nabbed items from a Capitol Police officer, along with china plates, from inside the building, according to a criminal complaint from Sept. 30 that was unsealed Monday.

Darrell Neely at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (FBI) © FBI Darrell Neely at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (FBI)

The complaint said the FBI’s evidence against Neely included witness statements from three colleagues who worked with him at an online radio station, Global Enlightenment Radio Network. The colleagues, who were only identified as witnesses in the complaint, told the FBI they spoke with Neely on Jan. 6 on two video calls. Neely showed or spoke about items he allegedly stole, the complaint said.

“According to Witness 3, NEELY boasted that he had attacked a USCP officer and had taken the USCP jacket, badge, name tag, and baseball cap from the officer. Witness 3 said NEELY also boasted about taking china plates from the Capitol building,” the complaint said.

Another witness said Neely in a second video call displayed "two china plates that were cream and maroon in color ... Witness 1 thought NEELY insinuated that the items were taken from inside the Capitol building."

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Neely, who is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, was also charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to the complaint.

A lawyer for Neely was not listed in court records. Neely could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

The complaint said the FBI received a tip on Jan. 9 that Neely breached the Capitol three days earlier. Screenshots of video footage captured him at the Capitol building. In one shot from inside the Capitol, he appeared "to be holding a marijuana cigarette,” the complaint said.

The FBI also said Neely broadcasted about Jan 6. on his YouTube channel. In one of the videos, he wore a “U.S. Capitol Police baseball cap,” according to the complaint.

The FBI spoke with the Capitol police officer whose items were allegedly stolen by Neely. The officer told the FBI, per the criminal complaint, the items were removed during decontamination from lacrimal spray, which is commonly known as tear gas.

The FBI also interviewed Neely twice, the complaint said. Neely said, “He went to the Capitol to film the events because he felt the events were newsworthy. He also admitted to entering the U.S. Capitol building." The court filing also said the FBI obtained a search warrant for Neely’s cellphone records, and his phone was determined to be inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.

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