Chicago police officer who vowed to ‘save the nation’ arrested for alleged role in Jan. 6 US Capitol attack

CHICAGO – Federal authorities arrested a Chicago police officer Friday in connection with his alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Karol J. Chwiesiuk was arrested Friday morning at his residence in Chicago, according to Joseph Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

He is charged with five federal misdemeanors alleging unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to the federal complaint,which includes images of Chwiesiuk inside the building wearing a Chicago Police Department sweatshirt.

Chwiesiuk appeared Friday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Chicago and was ordered released on a personal recognizance bond, Fitzpatrick said. The Chicago Police Department and police union officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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According to the complaint, Chwiesiuk sent text messages to someone the Sunday before the attack saying he was going to D.C. to “save the nation” and “Im f*** up some commies.” The person cooperated with authorities and said he’d known Chwiesiuk for 10 years, according to the complaint.

Chwiesiuk left Chicago on Jan. 4 and arrived in D.C. on Jan. 5, according to the complaint. He stayed at the Mayflower Hotel under a reservation made by his sister, according to cell phone geolocation data cited in the complaint.

On Jan. 5, Chwiesiuk received an email from a “Stop the Steal” email account calling on “patriots” to come to D.C. to “make history,” according to a copy of the email included in the complaint.

Chwiesiuk went to the Capitol the night before the attack and walked around the grounds, according to the complaint. Over the course of nearly half an hour, he sent 44 photo messages to three people “known to the FBI,” according to the complaint.

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On the morning of Jan. 6, Chwiesiuk wrote in a text to the individual that he “knocked out a commie last night.” He sent a selfie of himself and a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat standing outside in a crowd.

Hours later, Chwiesiuk was inside the Capitol, according to several images, security camera stills and geolocation data included in the complaint. While inside, Chwiesiuk sent or received more than 70 text messages, according to the complaint.

“We inside the capital lmfao,” Chwiesiuk wrote to the person in a text, along with a selfie taken in the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, according to the complaint.

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