Army veteran, Purple Heart recipient from Texas charged in connection to US Capitol riot

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Sunday, January 17, 2021
Joshua Lollar of Spring, Texas charged in US Capitol riot
Press play to learn what happened at Lollar's first court proceedings on Friday, Jan. 15.

WASHINGTON -- A Texas man accused of participating in a violent overrun of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month is a decorated military veteran, according to Army officials.

Joshua Lollar, 39, from Spring, Texas, faces federal charges after he was seen on Facebook live video clashing with police officers, according to court documents released Friday.

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"Sgt. Joshua Ryan Lollar served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army from Jan. 2002 to Nov. 2009 and completed one combat deployment to Iraq, Mar. 2003 to Mar. 2004, where he received the Purple Heart," an Army spokesman said in a statement to ABC13. "The Army does not tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks and is committed to working closely with the F.B.I. as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army."

Lollar told FBI agents he traveled to Washington and attended the speech given by President Donald Trump at the Ellipse before returning to his car, the agent said. Lollar later got out and followed a crowd headed toward the Capitol. Body camera footage from D.C. Metro police officers showed a man believed to be Lollar wearing a gas mask, gloves and a tan-colored body armor vest, court documents stated.

Lollar's father defended his son when reached by phone Friday afternoon.

"He's not a domestic terrorist or insurrectionist," Grover Lollar told our sister station ABC13. "He went for a rally. They just rushed down there, and he got swept along."

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Grover also said his son is a disabled.

"He's a good man," Grover Lollar said. "He's not a criminal."

In a Friday evening pre-trial hearing, the court discussed Lollar's history of psychological issues and if he had to remain in custody until trial. Prosecutors said Lollar's admittance of having guns was an issue that could complicate his release, and until someone else came to court to say his guns were in their possession, they would prefer Lollar remain detained.

Lollar is expected back in court on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.

According to the FBI, he is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and impeding or disrupting official functions. If convicted, he could face a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

He's also charged with obstructing or impeding a law enforcement officer during civil disorder and obstructing federally protected functions. If convicted, Lollar could face up to five years in jail with a $250,000 fine.

Lastly he's charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, for which he could be jailed up to six months and pay a $5,000 fine.

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Five people died during the ordeal, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.

This video above is from previous reporting.

Chaos at the Capitol: Minute-by-minute video shows how riots, violence unfolded

"Unfortunately, we can now add Jan. 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. See how things escalated in our minute-by-minute video as chaos erupted.
Pierre Thomas has more on a warning from the FBI about possible armed protests planned in all 50 states over the next 10 days.