A Federal Way man has been arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal court records show.
Tyler Welsh Slaeker, 39, was arrested at his home in Federal Way without incident on Wednesday and faces federal misdemeanor charges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of trespassing on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
Slaeker is the eighth Washington man to be arrested and charged related to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.
According to a probable cause affidavit unsealed Thursday, two witnesses related to Slaeker through marriage separately contacted FBI agents in March and April, after seeing selfies of Slaeker taken inside the Capitol during the insurrection posted on family members’ Facebook pages. The witnesses were not identified.
One of the witnesses provided screenshots of the photos, and the comments accompanying them, that had been posted on Slaeker’s mother’s Facebook page. Along with two photos, his mother’s account included the comment: “They entered the Capitol building-there is pepper spray going on-police are shutting down the building now.”
Another Facebook commenter asked Slaeker’s mother whether there’d been any violence. According to the complaint, she responded, in part: “Not until some people entered one of the interior passages and police were waiting, then it was a pushing match; Tyler says he didn’t see any shooting incident, but heard there was one, but most of the crowd was calling out to others to be peaceful.”
She added the photos her son had sent of the crowds “show normal, middle class, even older crowds,” the complaint says.
FBI agents later searched the U.S. Capitol Police’s closed-circuit video footage taken during the insurrection and found several more images of “an individual wearing a black helmet, grey jacket, backpack with black straps, and tan pants entering the U.S. Capitol building” whom witnesses later identified as Slaeker.
Among the footage were images of Slaeker walking into and around the Capitol Rotunda, holding up what appeared to be a smartphone in his hand. Screenshots of the footage appear to pinpoint instances in which Slaeker took the selfies that later showed up on his relatives’ Facebook pages, the charging papers say.
Emily Langlie, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, said Slaeker appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge on Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance. He’s to appear via Zoom for arraignment in the D.C. court on Monday, Langlie said.
Others from Washington charged in the Capitol riot case include Daniel Lyons Scott, 27, a former Arlington resident; Joseph Elliot Zlab, 51, of Lake Forest Park; Mark Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle; Ethan Nordean, 30, who lives near Auburn; Jeffrey Grace, 61, of Battle Ground; Taylor Johnatakis, 38, of Kingston; and Marc Bru, 41, of Vancouver.