A New Hyde Park man has admitted to storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots while trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as winner of the presidential election.
Eric Gerwatowski, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday at District of Columbia federal court to interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, a felony.
“The commies are trying to steal the country,” he said while being interviewed on camera stating, among other things, that he believed the election was stolen, according to investigators.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Washington, D.C., Gerwatowski pulled open a door that Capitol Police had just closed and let in the crowd of rioters. He allegedly yelled “Let’s go!” and directed others into the building before entering himself. Police officers had just gotten the doors closed after a struggle to prevent more rioters from entering the building.
FBI investigators gathered evidence for the federal complaint from several FBI tips identifying Gerwatowski in a YouTube video of the storming of the Capitol building and on social media with posts of Gerwatowski hashtagged #lordlonghair.
Gerwatowski was arrested on Feb. 8. He faces up to five years in federal prison, plus fines, when he is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2023.
He is among 900 people who have been arrested for participating in the riots, including a half dozen on Long Island. An East Williston attorney arrested last month was the most recent local suspect charged in connection with the case.
-With Briana Bonfilio