In one Facebook photo, the adult son of a Maryland police chief stands in the crowd outside the overrun U.S. Capitol.
“Yeah, I stormed the Capitol,” wrote Christian Trabert, the son of Aberdeen’s chief. “Yeah, I took my country back. And no, I don’t feel bad. I feel great!”
Four days later, however, his photo is erased and the 24-year-old is declining to respond to questions through an attorney. In Maryland and beyond, those who once bragged about overrunning the Capitol are now deleting their photos and falling silent.
On Twitter, a man called attention to a Facebook post by a former chairwoman of the Howard County Republican Central Committee. Her photos show the crowd outside the Capitol.
“Patriots taking the Capitol,” Laura McCachren Walsh wrote.
By Monday afternoon, the photo was gone. Walsh said she did not go inside the Capitol, and she removed her photos to avoid being bullied on an Instagram page called “Hoco Anonymous.”
“It all had to do with protecting myself,” she said.
The silence comes as more cellphone video emerges of the violence at the Capitol gates and inside. A mob armed with sticks and flagpoles bashed its way in, overrunning police and fatally injuring one officer. Videos captured an officer lying prone on the ground, another one punched in his head, yet another trampled as the crowd rushed the barricades.
Police shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran and fervent supporter of President Donald Trump. The San Diego woman had lived previously in Annapolis and Southern Maryland.
Meanwhile, a groundswell of internet activists have organized to identify those responsible for the violence and vandalism. The FBI received more than 40,000 tips by Sunday night, a spokeswoman said.
Internet sleuths zeroed in on one man who broke into the Capitol wearing his work badge. His employer, the Frederick, Maryland printer Navistar Direct Marketing, issued a statement saying the employee has been fired. The company did not identify him, and he could not be reached for comment Monday.
“While we support all employee’s right to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” the company wrote.
Anne Arundel County Police discovered one of their officers at the Capitol Wednesday. They issued a statement saying the unidentified officer has been suspended with pay while the department investigates. A spokesman declined to comment.
The Aberdeen Police addressed the photo of the chief’s son in a statement Monday.
“Chief [Henry] Trabert had no prior knowledge his son was attending this event, nor that an event was even taking place. He absolutely condemns the lawless activities that took place at the Capitol last week,” the department wrote.
The department wrote that Christian Trabert does not work for the city nor does his photo appear to have been taken inside Capitol grounds.
At least nine Marylanders have been arrested and charged in the riots, mostly for unlawful entry and violating the 6 p.m. curfew issued by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Among those charged with unlawful entry was a woman police identified as Zandra Sixkiller-Cramer of Glenwood in Howard County. She could not be reached for comment.
Despite reports circulating online, she has never been employed by the Medstar Health hospital system, a hospital spokeswoman said.
As of Monday evening, Sixkiller-Cramer’s Twitter account appears to have been deleted, and her Facebook page shows no posts after Nov. 1.
U.S. Capitol Police also charged David Alan Blair of Clarksburg in Montgomery County with assaulting a police officer. In charging documents, they allege Blair wielded a “lacrosse type stick” and hit the officers. The officers fought back with their batons and took him to the ground.
“[I was] Being an idiot, pumped up and didn’t move back. Accept everything, I’m sorry,” he later told them according to charging documents. “I had a knife in my bag because I was scared of ANTIFA jumping me on the way back.”
His attorney, Samuel Bogash, said he was not ready to discuss the case. He noted Blair suffered a concussion in the takedown and required stitches.