Greer man charged in connection with U.S. Capitol riot

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A 37-year-old Greer man is facing federal charges in connection with the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

According to an arrest warrant, William Robert Norwood III faces four charges in connection with the capitol riot including knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds, obstruction of justice/congress and theft of government property.

In a criminal complaint, prosecutors accuse Norwood of entering the U.S. Capitol Building and stealing government property. Text messages included in the complaint, allegedly from Norwood, show Norwood claiming he attacked capitol officers and stole a helmet and one of their tactical vests during the riots.

An investigation into Norwood began on January 16 after a tipster submitted group text messages to the FBI allegedly sent by Norwood. In those texts, Norwood claimed to have assaulted federal officers during the riot.

FBI agents in South Carolina interviewed the tipster on January 19, and they told agents how Norwood claimed to do “terrible things” at the capitol. The FBI were also able to get Norwood’s cellphone number and took screenshots of the text messages.

On January 7, the morning following the riot, Norwood allegedly wrote: “It worked… I got away with things that others were shot or arrested for.” The same day, Norwood wrote: The cop shot a female Trump supporter. Then allowed ‘ANTIFA Trump supporters’ to assault him. I was one of them. I was there. I took his [expletive].”

Norwood went on to later text an image of himself wearing what appears to be a U.S. Capitol Police tactical vest underneath a zipped up camo jacket.

According to the criminal complaint, Norwood later sent the following messages: “I fought 4 cops, they did nothing. When I put my red hat on, they pepper balled me,” and “I got a nice helmet and body armor off a cop for God’s sake and I disarmed him. Tell me how that works.”

On January 22, Norwood agreed to speak with the FBI and told agents he traveled with his wife to D.C. in order to attend President Trump’s rally. During the interview, Norwood denied assaulting law enforcement and claimed any statements he made in text messages to the contrary were meant to make him sound tough.

Norwood is currently being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.

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