WASHINGTON —FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Columbia

New York Man Arrested on Civil Disorder and Other Charges Related to Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Accused of Pulling Open Door to Let Rioters Inside

            A New York man was arrested today on civil disorder and other charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Eric Gerwatowski, 31, of New Hyde Park, New York, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with civil disorder, a felony, and related charges. He was arrested in New Hyde Park and will make his initial appearance today in the Eastern District of New York.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Gerwatowski was at the front of a crowd just outside the Upper House Doors. U.S. Capitol Police were attempting to close these doors to prevent further rioters from getting into the building. Gerwatowski pulled open one of the doors that the Capitol Police had just closed. Two officers were standing directly inside and had just tried to secure the entrance, in plain sight to Gerwatowski and others. Once he pulled open the door, Gerwatowski turned to the crowd and yelled, “Let’s go!.” He directed more rioters inside and went in, too.

            This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI New York Field Office’s Long Island Resident Agency, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Gerwatoski as #244 in its seeking information photos.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the one year since Jan. 6, more than 725 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 225 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

            An indictment or complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Security Division (NSD)
USAO - District of Columbia
USAO - New York, Eastern
Press Release Number: 
22-27