A New York City GOP leader who calls himself “The Republican Messiah” on social media has been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection after FBI used news footage to identify him by a Knights of Columbus jacket worn in the storming of the building.
The FBI arrested 46-year-old Philip Sean Grillo at his girlfriend’s home in Glen Oaks, Queens, Monday, Fox 5 New York reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement source. He lives in the same neighborhood.
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Grillo is a Republican state committeeman for the 24th Assembly District in Queens, according to the Queens County GOP website. He identifies himself as “The Republican Messiah” on his Facebook profile.
Two tipsters contacted the FBI after spotting Grillo inside the U.S. Capitol in footage that aired on CNN, an FBI special agent wrote in a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The first witness told the FBI that he or she has known Grillo for decades after growing up and attending the same schools with him in Glen Oaks, court documents said. That individual also said Grillo was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order.
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Surveillance footage from inside the Capitol building facing the Rotunda exterior doors showed a man wearing a Knights of Columbus, St. Anne’s Council #2429, Glen Oaks, New York, embroidered jacket. The FBI then conducted an open-records check of Grillo and confirmed he is a member of the Knights of Columbus chapter, matching the jacket’s description, court documents said.
According to the statement of facts, Grillo is seen in a video from the Senate Wing Door with a megaphone in hand climbing into the Capitol building through a broken window at about 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6. He makes his way with a crowd of individuals to the Capitol Rotunda, where three Capitol Police officers attempt to stop their advance, the statement continues, but Grillo and the crowd make it past the officers and push open a barricaded door.
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YouTube footage taken outside the Capitol near an entryway showed Grillo with a crowd shouting, “Fight for Trump.”
“This crowd was engaged in a physical confrontation with uniformed officers at the entryway,” according to court documents. Again, Grillo was near the front of the crowd, which was eventually driven back from the door when officers employed a chemical irritant.
Grillo is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or ground, showing disorderly or disruptive conduct and impeding official proceedings.