WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – A Citadel Cadet pleaded guilty Wednesday to traveling to Washington, D.C. and participating in the infamous January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol building.
Elias Irizarry was a freshman at the time. He and two friends drove to Washington the night before, then went to former President Donald Trump’s rally the following morning.
According to the statement of offense, the three made their way with a large crowd towards the Capitol building before the speech ended.
By the time they arrived, the breach of the building had already begun. They were handed metal poles broken off of downed metal bicycle barricades and entered the Capitol through a broken window.
Once inside, Irizarry and one other man took photos of each other throughout the building, climbed on statutes, and rode elevators. They were in the building for just under 30 minutes.
Irizarry admitted to sitting on a police car parked outside the building, and one of his friends said that he “hit a police officer on the officer’s helmet,” according to the statement.
Irizarry pleaded guilty to Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds. The maximum sentencing and fine for the charge are one year and $100,000 respectively. Irizarry also agreed to pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol.
Sentencing is set for March 15, 2023.
Throughout the trial, The Citadel declined to take action until a verdict was reached. A statement provided to News 2 on March 16, 2021, read in part:
“Once this matter is resolved, The Citadel will take appropriate actions in accordance with the college’s rules and regulations. It would be inappropriate to speculate about any subsequent actions the college would take pending resolution of the charges.”
Upon learning of the plea, News 2 reached out to The Citadel for an updated statement. The Citadel said on October 26, 2022, that it is “aware of the plea agreement; however, due to [the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] FERPA, we are unable to comment or speculate on any potential disciplinary proceedings.”