The FBI is hunting a fugitive.
The Bureau set up a command post at the community center in the little suburban town of Helmetta, New Jersey. Helicopters circled the area. A SWAT team stormed a backyard shed. Students were told to shelter in place.
A $10,000 reward has been issued for information that will lead to his arrest.
Helmetta’s mayor, Christopher Slavicek, said that “various law enforcement agencies were going up and down the roads.”
There was “certainly a sense of heightened anxiety,” the mayor said, according to The New York Times.
So, who is it the Feds are so anxious to capture? A Hamas-supporting terrorist? A fentanyl-pushing soldier in a Mexican drug cartel? A human trafficker who slipped across our wide-open borders? A first son who lost his coke?
The FBI is turning Helmetta upside-down in search of Gregory Yetman, a former military police sergeant in the New Jersey National Guard, who was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
According to the FBI, Yetman was charged with: “Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers; Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Act of Physical Violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings.”
After issuing an arrest warrant on Monday in Washington, D.C., law enforcement officers attempted to hook Yetman up at his home at approximately 8 a.m. on Wednesday, but he “fled and went off into the woods,” Mayor Slavicek said.
Determined to get their politically inconvenient man, they even used “flashbang grenades as part of the search, with the loud bangs echoing throughout the neighborhood,” NBC New York reported.
According to The Times, “USA Today reported earlier this year that Mr. Yetman, whom it identified as a former military police sergeant in the New Jersey National Guard, had been interviewed by the F.B.I. about his participation in the riot, and that he was believed to have fired a large canister of pepper spray at protesters and police officers.”
It was, apparently, USA Today who turned the Feds — and online sleuths — onto Yetman, along with “hundreds” of other people who were caught on camera at the Capitol that fateful day.
The outlet reports, “Yetman was the subject of a USA TODAY investigation in March that revealed that hundreds of people who could be identified from photos and videos of the riots had not yet been charged or arrested. Many of those people had been identified by volunteer sleuths online and reported to the FBI. USA TODAY verified and sought out some of those people, including Yetman.”
“In videos from Jan. 6, the man identified as Yetman can be seen picking up a large canister of pepper spray from the ground and spraying it toward Capitol police and protesters,” USA Today explains. “Photos of that man were posted on the FBI’s wanted list for the insurrection, and he was labeled as suspect #278 AFO. AFO stands for ‘Assault on a Federal Officer.'”
In March, USA Today reported, “Online researchers provided Yetman’s identity to the FBI more than a year ago, but he has never been arrested. Yetman insisted in an interview with USA TODAY that he did nothing wrong that day at the Capitol and says he didn’t pepper-spray anyone.”
In a statement on Thursday morning, the FBI’s Newark office vowed, “We will be in the area staging until Yetman is arrested,” the Associated Press reports.
Yetman is a “recognizable face” around Helmetta, Slavicek said, according to USA Today.
“We don’t even have a streetlight,” he said. “Around here, everybody knows your name.”
Online, many are outraged over the FBI’s dogged show of force.
“All for show,” wrote former morning radio personality Ken Miles, “and we know it!”
Gregory Yetman is right in the middle of a massive manhunt in New Jersey. FBI, Swat Teams, Local LEO, canines, long guns, helicopters. Name it, it’s there. Crime: Being at the Capitol on J6 and “allegedly” hit an officer. All for show, and we know it! pic.twitter.com/z6PJ9vWdpF
— Ken Miles (@kenmilesamerica) November 9, 2023
“Approximately 1,200 people have been charged with Capitol riot-related federal crimes. Over 800 of them have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury or judge after a trial,” AP reports. “More than 700 of them have been sentenced, with roughly two-thirds receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from three days to 22 years.”
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