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West Virginia man charged with stealing CSPAN equipment during Capitol riots

The Hill logo The Hill 3/5/2021 Jordan Williams
a group of people flying kites in a building: The Capitol riot © Getty Images The Capitol riot

A West Virginia man was charged with stealing C-SPAN equipment during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Eric Gene Barber, who was a former councilman for the city of Parkersburg, W.Va., was charged last month with restricted buildings or grounds, unlawful activities on Capitol grounds, and theft.

The case was unsealed on Thursday.

The FBI said Barber it identified Barber after witnesses flagged Facebook posts identifying Barber, as well as interviews he gave to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and local NBC affiliate WTAP.


Video: West Virginia Man Arrested Near U.S. Capitol (CBS Pittsburgh)

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According to an affidavit, Barber was seen on footage from U.S. Capitol Police taking selfies in the Capitol Rotunda and "stopping at the C-SPAN media station located in Statuary Hall and searching through equipment that was on the stand."

"BARBER appears to be looking at an item at the C-SPAN media stand. This video clearly depicts BARBER searching through items at the media stand, before appearing to unplug something and take it with him," the affidavit reads. "Based upon BARBER's activity at the stand, your affiant believed that BARBER took a portable power station from the media stand."

The agent said he determined the identity of the C-SPAN fired service technician who was operating the media stand at the time. The individual said that two items were taken, a C-SPAN foldable stool and their individual personal power station used to charge an iPad.

Peter Kiley, a spokesperson for C-SPAN, said in a statement to The Hill that two C-SPAN technicians had "small personal items taken that day."

"Most important to us was that our technicians were not harmed in the events of the day; none of our network's cameras or equipment was harmed or stolen," Kiley said.

Five people died in the riots that forced Congress to halt certification of President Biden's Electoral College Victory. Journalists have previously opened up about their experiences during the riot, detailing run-ins with rioters and having equipment destroyed.

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