Another Alabama man has been identified as one of the protesters who breached the U.S. Capitol one week ago.
Federal court documents made public Wednesday said Joshua Matthew Black of Leeds was among the crowd that forced its way into the building while the joint session of Congress was underway to certify the vote count of the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election.
Several of the protesters then made their way into the Senate chambers, video of which was captured on multiple cell phones.
One of those men, according to a federal criminal complaint, was Black. He is charged with entering a restricted building or grounds; violent entry and disorderly conduct.
“Joshua Black has been arrested and made an initial appearance in the Northern District of Alabama in connection with the events at our Nation’s Capitol last week,” said U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona.
“This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office. My office is assisting with the arrest and court proceedings held in our district. I want to take this time to thank the prosecutors in my office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the FBI, both here and in DC, and other law enforcement agencies who assisted in the arrest of Mr. Black,” Escalona added.
Black was seen on video and in photos wearing a red hat, camouflage jacket and yellow gloves and appeared to be bleeding from the left cheek.
Two days later, the complaint says, someone using the username “LetUs Talk” posted two videos to YouTube. Like Black in the videos shot in the Senate chambers, the man had blood on the left side of his face and said in the YouTube video he had been shot with a projectile.
In that video, federal prosecutors say, Black discussed entering the Capitol and being on the Senate floor.
“Once we found out Pence turned on us and they had stolen the election, like officially, the crowd went crazy,’’ Black said on the video. “I mean, it became a mob. We crossed the gate.”
He later said, “We just wanted to get inside the building. I wanted to get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it. That was my goal.”
The federal affidavit said Black also confessed to possessing a dangerous weapon.
“I actually had a knife on me, but they never…I had too much clothes on, it was freezing out there, you know, so I never, I wasn’t planning on pulling it. I just carry a knife because I do. I work outside and you need knives, you know. I just, you’re not allowed to carry guns in D.C. and I don’t like being defenseless.”
Black said on the video that once he saw the door to the U.S. Senate, “I just felt like the spirit of God wanted me to go in the Senate room, you know. So I was about to break the glass and I thought, no, this is our house, we don’t act like that. I was tempted to, I’m not gonna lie. Cause I’m pretty upset. You know? They stole my country.”
He said once inside, he praised the name of Jesus on the Senate floor, adding that was “God’s goal.”
On Jan. 7, the FBI received an anonymous call from a man admitting he was among the crowd that broke into the Capitol. The telephone number, according to the FBI, was associated with Black.
Later last week, when the FBI released photos in hopes of getting the intruders identified, a tipster called the FBI National Threat Operation Center to report Black was among the rioters sought.
The female caller said she knew Black 15 years ago when she lived in Alabama.
On Jan. 8, the court records state, Black voluntarily met with an FBI agent in Moody. He stated to the agent that he had recorded the YouTube video about his experience entering the Capitol and the Senate chamber.
Leeds and Moody police confirmed they assisted the FBI with the ongoing investigation. Black was questioned by officers and federal agents at the Moody Police Department headquarters. Alabama police said they’d had no prior dealings with Black. Court records don’t indicate any prior arrests locally.
Black is at least the third Alabama man identified as among the crowd that breached the U.S. Capitol.
Lonnie Coffman, 70, was arrested by federal authorities just hours after the Jan. 6 breach and riot at the U.S. Capitol. The 70-year-old north Alabama man has since been indicted on 17 charges following the seizure of nearly a dozen Molotov cocktail explosive devices from his pickup truck, as well as a number of guns, ammo and concerning handwritten notes.
The feds have asked that he be held without bond because of his “concerning history and characteristics” that raise a grave risk that he would endanger the community should he be released from custody.
Among the handwritten notes was a letter in which he named U.S. Rep. André Carson of Indiana, who labeled a “Muslim,” and also named a judge with words “bad guy” beside the judge’s name. Another note read, “We The People Are the Rightful Masters of Both The Congress and The courts, Not To Overthrow The Constitution But to Overthrow The Men Who Pervert The Constitution,” and attributed the words to Abraham Lincoln.
Coffman’s truck was parked just a few blocks from the Capitol. Authorities noted he had apparently been living in the truck in the D.C. area for a week prior to the breach. Surveillance footage showed he parked the truck near the Republican National Club, a few blocks from the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, both targeted for reports of explosive devices, about 9:20 a.m. that Wednesday.
Investigators spotted a gun in Coffman’s truck and later carried out a search of the vehicle. He was detained later in the day when he returned to his vehicle.
Other items found in Coffman’s truck and used as exhibits as to why he should remain in federal custody pending trial include a loaded 9 mm handgun, a loaded rifle, several large-capacity ammunition feeding devices loaded with more than 10 rounds of rifle ammunition, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a crossbow with bolts, several machetes, camouflage smoke devices, a stun gun, and the 11 mason jars filled with flammable liquid, which authorities said was the equivalent to homemade napalm.
There was also a lighter and rags. Two of the guns were in Coffman’s pockets.
“There is clear and convincing evidence that (Coffman) would pose a danger to the community if released and that there are no release conditions or combination of conditions that would ensure the safety of the community,’’ according to federal prosecutors.
“The defendant brought these weapons to the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Capitol Building and traveled the area with two firearms on his person,’’ records state. “The amount of weapons suggest an intent to provide them to others as no one person could reasonably use so many at once.”
“The nature and seriousness of the danger that (Coffman) would pose if released cannot be overstated,’’ the federal prosecutor wrote.
Coffman remains held in D.C.
Another Alabama man had his six-figure bond revoked in a state drug case after Lee County prosecutors said he participated in Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.
William Watson, 23, of Auburn had been out on $103,000 bond in a drug trafficking case from July, but violated the terms of his bond banning him from leaving Alabama after he was spotted inside the U.S. Capitol during last week’s riots in which four people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died.
In a motion filed earlier this week to revoke Watson’s bond, which was approved by a Lee County judge, prosecutors said Watson was shown on video footage inside the Capitol standing next to “a man with [a] horned hat” — presumably Jake Angeli, who is also known as “QAnon Shaman” and was arrested on federal charges stemming from the riots.
Watson, prosecutors said, “has distinctive tattoos on his hands, which are visible in the images from the Capital [sic.] Additionally, the defendant made a social media post including a photo of his participation and comments regarding one of his tattoos.”
The motion was referring to a Snapchat post allegedly made by Watson denying claims on social media that he was in Antifa because of the tattoos. Watson said his tattoos were inspired by a video game and that he was not a member of Antifa.
“The fake news won’t win against the thousands of patriots who recorded [Wednesday,]” Watson wrote.