Huntington man charged for alleged part in Capitol riot; claims he attended to 'understand' people he doesn't align with

The documents state that in the days following the riot, the FBI received tips from multiple individuals alleging that Christopher Ortiz was part of the riot.

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2021, 3:30 AM

Updated 1,171 days ago

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A Huntington man is facing charges for his alleged role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol three weeks ago.
Court documents say that Ortiz was charged after prosecutors says he was bragging on Instagram about being part of the mob attack.
The court records allege that multiple people, including a high school friend and a former co-worker, came forward and identified that Ortiz was on Instagram recording video and exchanging messages on his phone from Washington, D.C.  Photos in the documents show what authorities say is a picture of Ortiz's Instagram profile picture, part of what was used to identify him, along with a still frame of a video of him going into the Capitol with other rioters.
Witnesses told authorities that Ortiz is the person heard in the video yelling, "Onward, Onward!" and "Yeah! We're at the door!" Ortiz denies that was him.
"They said they verified my voice. I don't know who verified anything," says Ortiz. "That wasn't me screaming at all. I had people around me, I had some guy right here, a guy right here. You know, you got people screaming all over the place."
There are also screenshots of messages Ortiz allegedly exchanged with one of the FBI's witnesses.
Ortiz was arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force at his home Wednesday morning.
Ortiz spoke to News 12 after exiting federal court, claiming that he is not a supporter of former President Donald Trump and did not vote for him. He also says he didn't think the riot was violent, despite federal authorities saying five people, including a Capitol police officer, were killed.
"I think the sensationalism around the violence at the riot isn't right. I don't think it was violent, I didn't vandalize, I didn't steal, I didn't break anything, I didn't burn anything. There on D.C. that day, I saw a group that represents about half of our entire country. And I feel like the division across this nation is reaching a high," says Ortiz.
He went on to say, "And the reason I put myself there ... I'm not somebody who walks around wearing a MAGA hat, I'm not that kind of person, understand? I wanted to understand what's going on with the people I don't really align with. I wanted to see what's happening. They marched towards the Capitol, I got caught up in that, it became a crazy thing."
Ortiz was arraigned in federal court in Central Islip Wednesday on two charges, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or ground without lawful authority. He had a $60,000 bond set that includes conditions that he is not allowed to go to Washington, D.C. except for a court appearance, must surrender his passport by Friday and is subject to random visits at his parent's home.


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