PA man wanted to ‘take over government’ at Capitol Riot and found guilty

PENNSYLVANIA — A Pennsylvania man who authorities said joined the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and who punched a police officer amid the chaos has been found guilty.

Brian Gundersen, 28, of State College, was convicted of obstructing an official proceeding and assault, resisting or obstructing law enforcement officers. He faces up to 28 years in prison.

“Sowwy for damage,” the man wrote in a note left in the Capitol as mobs around him razed the nation’s seat of power, according to the FBI.

He added a crying emoticon at the end of the note.

Gundersen was identified because he was wearing his school jacket during the attack, police said.

Members of the community where he attended school in Armonk, New York recognized the jacket in social media footage and called local police, who in turn notified the FBI. Other members of this community have also independently provided tips to the FBI, according to the criminal complaint.

“We all stormed the US capital and tried to take over the government,” Gundersen wrote on social media days after the attack.

The FBI said Gundersen joined a mob of rioters around 2:30 p.m. who climbed the northwest steps of the Capitol and eventually climbed to a window in the northwest courtyard next to the Senate wing door.

He shouted at officers in the building before becoming one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol through the parliamentary door at around 2:42 p.m., authorities said. Gundersen waved the crowd through the door while others confronted cops.

He then joined the rioters who ransacked the MP’s office, destroying furniture and throwing papers on the floor, according to the FBI. That’s when he left his “sawwy” note.

He was eventually evicted from the Capitol by officers around 3:07 p.m., investigators said.

However, he remained on the grounds, eventually returning to the northwest courtyard and even briefly entering the Capitol, police said. When he was pushed back out, he joined a mob that confronted officers near the northwest terrace, rushing toward one officer and hitting him with the arm, authorities said.

Another officer with a riot shield pushed Gundersen back, the FBI said.

Gundersen was arrested just weeks after the January 25, 2021 riots.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 27, 2023.

About 900 people were arrested nationwide in all 50 states for actions during the Capitol riots, with 275, including Gundersen, charged with assault or obstructing law enforcement. At least 60 Pennsylvanians are being prosecuted in connection with the day’s events.