A South Carolina man was charged last week for his involvement in the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
William Robert Norwood III, 37, faces four charges related to the insurrection, including theft of government property for allegedly stealing an officer’s helmet and tactical vest, which FBI agents said were later found in a storage trailer in Greenville.
He bragged to relatives about dressing up as Antifa and assaulting police officers during the attack on the Capitol. Norwood’s family then turned him into authorities after knowing about his actions.
The Greer, S.C. native also faces charges of obstruction of Congress, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
Norwood was arrested on Feb. 25 by agents from the FBI and US Marshall office at his home on Locust Hill Road in Greer. He was ordered to remain in detention at a hearing Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin McDonald.
“I am concerned with his own texting, his own words to his family, including his mother, that he had assaulted an officer,” McDonald said.
A lengthy group text conversation, Norwood relayed his plans for the riot to four other people on Jan. 5, according to the criminal complaint and an arrest warrant filed last week.
“I’m dressing in all black,” Norwood wrote, according to the complaint. “I’ll look just like ANTIFA. I’ll get away with anything.”
A day after the riots, Norwood sent an update to the group: “It worked… I got away with things that others were shot or arrested for.
“The cop shot a female Trump supporter. Then allowed ‘ANTIFA Trump supporters’ to assault him. I was one of them. I was there. I took his s—,” Norwood continued.
Attached to the text was a selfie of Norwood “wearing what appears to be a U.S. Capitol Police tactical vest underneath a zipped up camouflage jacket,” the FBI wrote in the complaint.
According to the screenshots, Norwood wrote to the group: “I got a nice helmet and body armor off a cop for God’s sake and I disarmed him. Tell me how that works.”
He claimed that once he changed out of Antifa garb, he was targeted by officers.
“I fought 4 cops, they did nothing. When I put my red hat on, they pepper balled me,” Norwood wrote.
Despite claims by some media outlets, the FBI has said repeatedly there is no evidence that “anti-fascist activists” like Antifa were involved in the deadly riots.
Norwood’s attorney, Benjamin T. Stepp, said his client has admitted to and would most likely be found guilty of the charges, including theft, but argued Norwood wasn’t a flight risk and the maximum penalty at this point for the charges would likely be a year in jail.
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