CAMDEN, N.J. - Federal authorities have charged a New Jersey man in connection with breaching the U.S. Capitol during the riot and insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
And comments made by the man's own mother apparently made their way through the grapevine to the FBI, leading to his arrest, according to a document filed in federal court.
The U.S. attorney in Washington charged Robert Lee Petrosh of Mays Landing in Atlantic County with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building, according to a DOJ document.
In an affidavit submitted to a magistrate judge, an FBI agent stated that someone called the FBI on Jan. 17 to say that Petrosh had been inside the Capitol during the breach. That tipster apparently got the information from their grandmother, who'd heard about it from Petrosh's mother.
The tipster told the FBI that their "grandmother is good friends with PETROSH's mother, and that PETROSH's mother told [their] grandmother that PETROSH went inside the Capitol building on January 6," the affidavit stated.
The red oval on this CCTV image from U.S. Capitol Police shows Robert Lee Petrosh, of Mays Landing, N.J., inside the Capitol during the breach on Jan. 6, 2021, according to a federal document. (CPD via FBI)
The FBI then got Petrosh's driver's license photo and matched it to a social media image and an image from a Capitol Police security camera from Jan. 6 showing Petrosh among the rioters inside the building, authorities said.
Then in another twist, once the FBI identified Petrosh as a suspect, an FBI task force officer who has known Petrosh for about 15 years confirmed his identity. The officer has "worked with," has gone to "social gatherings with," and has seen Petrosh working in his yard, the FBI said in a document.
FBI agents arrested Petrosh in Mays Landing on Wednesday, the DOJ said.
He then posted a $50,000 bond and was released.
The AP on Thursday left a message with Petrosh's attorney seeking comment.
This article was produced from New York City with The Associated Press.
U.S. Justice Department Documents Filed in Court