CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – A Cary man has been arrested and charged with spraying law enforcement with “bear spray” and other crimes during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday.
Aiden Henry Bilyard, 19, of Cary is charged with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon, among other charges.
Bilyard was arrested in Raleigh on Monday and made an initial appearance in federal court.
He was released pending future court proceedings.
Federal officials said Bilyard can be seen on video spraying law enforcement officers with a chemical irritant believed to have been “bear spray.”
Rioters used the spray to incapacitate officers, Department of Justice officials said.
Bilyard is also accused of using a bat to smash a window of the Capitol. He then entered a Senate room through the broken window, federal officials said.
Federal documents show the FBI interviewed Bilyard in August as he was going through basic training at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio.
He told agents he was at the Capitol that day but only took part in lawful activities. After agents showed Bilyard videos of his “apparent participation,” the 19-year-old said, “this is where I take my leave.”
After the FBI spoke with him in Texas, he left the Air Force and moved back to Cary.
A cellphone connected to Bilyard was also tracked to being inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, court documents show.
The FBI used photos on his mother’s Facebook page to help identify Bilyard as he was wearing the same gray sweatshirt with “Harvard” across the chest on Jan. 6, federal documents say.
Agents also interviewed his mother in Cary, federal documents say. She said she found and threw away a canister matching the “bear spray” in the back of Bilyard’s vehicle.
Bilyard’s mother said her son claimed he found the canister on the ground outside the Capitol and it was OK to throw out, the documents say.
In the 10 months since Jan. 6, more than 675 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 210 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.