A Farmingdale man pleaded guilty on Friday to multiple charges related to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including assaulting a police officer.
Greg Rubenacker, 26, pleaded guilty to all 10 counts, which include assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers; civil disorder; obstructing an official proceeding; and committing an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force had arrested Rubenacker on Feb. 9, 2021 based on witness evidence of Snapchat videos showing him inside the Capitol building on the day of the insurrection, including one of him smoking a marijuana cigarette.
“The witness stated that Snapchat user Rubenacker had sent multiple Snapchat videos to the witness from inside the Capitol building,” authorities alleged in court documents. “User Rubenacker then posted some of those videos merged together in a ‘story’ that other Snapchat users could see, including the witness.”
According to authorities, Rubenacker entered the Capitol building through the Senate Wing Door at about 2:13 p.m. along with a crowd of others and yelled, “This is history! We took the Capitol.” He also yelled “Where are they counting the votes” before a Capitol police officer redirected him. He left the building at about 2:21 p.m., but returned about 21 minutes later through the Rotunda Door, federal officials said. While in the Rotunda, he smoked marijuana and posted a video with the title “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”
Authorities said that Rubenacker then resisted officers who were trying to get individuals out of the Rotunda. He swung a plastic water bottle at one officer’s head and sprayed water at another. He left the building at about 3:20 p.m. after he and the other rioters were pepper sprayed by police officers.
Rubenacker is set to be sentenced on May 13, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and he faces up to 20 years in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, up to eight years for assaulting law enforcement, and additional time and potential fines for the remaining offenses.
More than 725 individuals from nearly all 50 states have been arrested to date in the year since the Jan. 6 insurrection, including several others from Long Island. Most recently, a New Hyde Park man was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly barging open the Capitol doors and leading a crowd into the building after police officers attempted to stop them.
Related Story: These 5 Long Islanders Were Arrested for Their Alleged Roles in Capitol Riots a Year Ago
Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.