The Woodland Park, Colorado, resident was seen in photos wearing distinctive patches and military-style equipment on Jan. 5 and on Jan. 6 as he pushed through police barriers at the Capitol and confronted officers in the building alongside a number of rioters wanted by the FBI.
He is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding a federal officer, depredation of U.S. property. obstruction of an official proceeding, and entering a restricted building with the intent to impede official functions.
Gieswein could not immediately be reached for comment, and it was not clear if he had been taken into custody.
The Daily Beast identified Gieswein in pictures taken on Jan. 5, the day before the riot, showing him apparently injured, with his helmet off kneeling on the ground as pro-Trump rallygoers clash with protesters and police at Black Lives Matter plaza in downtown D.C.
In an affidavit in support of the criminal charges, the government alleged that Gieswein “appears to be affiliated with the radical militia group known as the Three Percenters,” a militia which is “loosely allied with the Oath Keepers.”
Gieswein’s Facebook page, now-deleted, also showed him to be a fan of right-wing militia groups. In November 2018, he posted pictures of himself flashing the “Three Percent” sign, an apparent reference to so-called Three Percenter militias, outside of Shooters Grill, a Colorado bar owned by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
The term “three percenter,” according to the Anti-Defamation League, is a reference to the “erroneous belief that only 3% of colonists fought against the British during the Revolutionary War” and militia members make themselves out to be similarly willing to fight against what they see as tyrannical government.
Gieswein’s movements during the riot were easily traceable thanks to a collection of distinctive patches on his helmet and vest, including patches that read “Woodland Wild Dogs,” “Golf Foxtrot Yankee,” “MAGA,” My Mom Thinks I’m Special,” and “I Pull Out” next to a picture of a grenade.
Later on, Gieswein’s helmet is also visible in footage of a Proud Boys member, identified by the FBI as Dominic Pezzola, breaking into the Capitol through a window. As Pezzola smashes the window with a police shield, the “Golf Foxtrot Yankee” patch and orange tape of Gieswein’s helmet is visible in the lower right hand corner of the frame.
When Pezzola and other rioters make their way upstairs, Gieswein is again visible standing next to him and yelling as rioters confront outnumbered Capitol police attempting to stop them.
Other pictures on his Facebook show Gieswein dressed in camouflage military garb parading with assault weapons next to other, similarly equipped men. His political views—stated in photos with “Trump 2020” and “Make Liberals Cry Again”—are also evident.
Amidst the pictures of dogs on his feed, Gieswein also posted the distinctive yellow and green “Woodland Wild Dogs” patch seen on his vest at the Capitol riot.
His name appears on a 2020 registration for a website labeled WoodlandWildDogs.com and RockyMountainOathkeepers.com, both registered in 2019.
An Instagram account in the name of Woodland Wild Dogs—adorned with the tagline “Shootin guns, Campfires and America” but since deleted—bore the patch logo seen on Gieswein’s vest and appeared to show pictures of him engaging in target practice and military-style drills with other men dressed in camo and bearing assault rifles.
Its first post shows a black and yellow skull and the title “Rocky Mountain Oathkeepers.”
At his home in Colorado, Gieswein was also apparently active in various protest movements, particularly around gun rights. His Facebook shows him advertising a 2018 “Rally for Our Rights” in Colorado Springs to support gun rights.
When residents of Pueblo, Colorado, turned out for the “March for Our Lives” following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a local NBC affiliate noted that Gieswein conducted a counter-protest in which he openly carried a firearm. “Bump stocks... the biggest thing on the ballot right now. If we give away our bump stocks what’s next? Magazines and semi-autos?” he told KOAA News 5.