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Janesville man charged with participating in U.S. Capitol riot

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WASHINGTON (WKOW) — A Janesville man faces disorderly conduct and obstruction of law enforcement charges after photos placed him inside the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riots.

According to the criminal complaint, Michael Fitzgerald, 42, of Janesville, wore a shirt bearing the words "Wild Protest, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021," during the Capitol breech. The complaint includes photos the FBI says it has confirmed is Fitzgerald.

Security footage, along with stills captured from phone cameras at the scene, shows Fitzgerald helping other rioters push past several law enforcement officers blocking off an entrance to the Capitol building, according to the FBI investigation. The criminal complaint says Fitzgerald was one of several holding up a podium in an attempt to force police out of the way.

Fitzgerald left the Capitol approximately 40 minutes after entering, and does not face any charges for damaging the building or injuring law enforcement personnel.

His formal charges include obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering a restricting building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Fitzgerald is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court - Western District of Wisconsin in Madison Thursday.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court - District of Columbia.

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