WASHINGTON — A 38-year-old Warren man was arrested by the FBI on Monday morning for his role in the attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
Stephen Ayres was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice/obstruction of Congress, unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The FBI said it received multiple tips that Ayres was one of the many people who unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and was a part of the destruction and chaos that day, according to court documents.
Ayres had posted a video on Facebook about the attack on the Capitol later that day. The video showed three individuals—Ayres, another male and a female—describing their experiences inside the Capitol building.
The FBI said Ayers either removed the video or made it private after January 10, but law enforcement accessed the same video that appeared on his Facebook page from YouTube.
In the video, Ayres and the second male claimed that, “Antifa breached the building and were the ones who were violent and breaking doors and windows,” and said they “walked right into the Capitol building” after the doors were breached.
Ayres and the other male stated in the video that “it’s not over” and that the purpose of the day was to expose former Vice President Mike Pence as a “traitor.”
The FBI received screenshots of Ayres’ Facebook page that included posts such as “If the [DS] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!” posted on Dec. 26, another a day later stating that he and “a handful of other people are headed to D.C. for the Trump rally on the 6th!!” and shared an article about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s home being vandalized, stating “This is just the beginning! The governors, senators, representatives, etc….Really don’t have a clue what’s coming!!”
On Jan. 19, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia authorized a search warrant for Ayres’ Facebook account and during the investigation discovered he had posted an image of himself and the second male in the videos being interviewed outside of the Capitol wearing what appeared to be the same clothing as was seen in images suspected to be of him inside of the Capitol building.
Ayres waived identity and preliminary hearings on Monday and the court set his bond at $20,000. Upon his release, Ayres will not be able to travel outside of the Northern District of Ohio or to Washington, D.C. except for court. He is scheduled to report for his hearing via video conference on Feb. 8.