Former Illinois National Guardsman, brother charged in connection to Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack

Joseph Bierbrodt's brother William also facing similar federal criminal charges

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Fmr. IL National Guardsman, brother charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Former Illinois National Guard member Joseph Bierbrodt is facing eight federal charges for participating in January 6 United States Capitol attack.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A former member of the Illinois National Guard is facing criminal charges stemming from the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.

Court documents show that Joseph Bierbrodt has been charged with eight federal crimes, including entering a restricted building, and causing physical violence and disorderly conduct in a restricted building.

Authorities say wasn't just in the crowd, but also assaulted U.S. Capitol police.

"We've seen just misdemeanors brought against a good number of these Capitol rioters. We're seeing that in this case as well, but we're also seeing felony charges," said ABC7 Chief Legal Analyst Gil Soffer.

The FBI said surveillance video shows Bierbrodt's brother breaching a locked fire door, allowing the crowd to enter the Capitol, including Bierbrodt who allegedly wore a red hat and an American flag face covering.

Prosecutors say he lashed with multiple officers, and was pepper sprayed and left bloodied before leaving the Capitol with his brother.

"The evidence here looks strong as it has been in many of these cases," Soffer said.

The Illinois National Guard said Bierbrodt retired from service in 2018.

ABC7 Chicago reported on an unrelated story involving Bierbrodt in 2018, when he accompanied the daughter of a fallen soldier to her daddy-daughter dance. Months later he was honored for that gesture at Chicago's Memorial Day weekend remembrance.

Federal prosecutors said they used a screen shot apparently from the ABC7 report to help identify him.

See also | Chicago cop charged in Jan. 6 Capitol attack told FBI he enjoyed 'invading capitols': document

The defendant's brother, William Bierbrodt, has also been charged with similar federal crimes.

After identifying the brothers as suspects, law enforcement officials used the images to locate Joseph in late October 2021 in Sheridan, Ill., and his brother William was located at his residence in Florida.

See also | Chicago man sentenced to 4 years in prison for role in January 6 riot at US Capitol