World

Alaska man, charged in US Capitol riots, avoids house arrest

A federal Justice of the Peace on Friday declined to order house arrest for a far-right web troll charged in the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol after court docket officers raised issues about his latest encounters with cops in Arizona.

U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey warned Tim “Baked Alaska” Gionet that he acted dangerously and “got here near committing crimes” while he videotaped himself arguing with a drunken friend and calling police twice. But the magistrate ultimately concluded that Gionet didn’t violate any conditions of his pretrial release.

Gionet grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and had grown well known in right-wing politics through his social media appearances.

Gionet was arrested 10 days after the riot in Washington, D.C. He is charged with violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority.

After his arrest in Houston, Gionet initially was ordered to submit to electronic location monitoring, but the court lifted that condition of his release on March 31.

On Jan. 6, Gionet streamed live video that showed himself inside the Capitol and encouraging other protesters to stay. Investigators say Gionet also profanely called an officer an “oathbreaker” and chanted, “Whose house? Our house!”

His lawyer has said he only went to Washington to film what happened.

he Justice Department has arrested about 465 people in nearly all 50 states – an average of about three defendants arrested every single day, including weekends, since January 6th. Marine Corps officer, Christopher Warnagiris, the first active-duty service member arrested in the insurrection, was indicted Thursday on nine charges including assaulting an officer.

In Gionet’s case, a pretrial services officer had recommended imposing home detention and banning Gionet from posting videos to social media or other video sharing platforms. A federal prosecutor concurred with the recommendations.

Harvey rejected both recommendations, but chided Gionet for “baiting” his friend into fighting in a moving car.

“You knew what you were doing, putting the camera in his face,” he said. “You wanted to get a rise out of him, and you did.”

A video of Gionet’s contact with law enforcement in Arizona on May 26 was posted on YouTube, according to a pretrial services report. Gionet apparently called police that evening to report that a friend and fellow “YouTuber” had assaulted him, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

After officers arrived, Gionet agreed to take his friend home. When the friend became belligerent in the car, Gionet called police again and was “somewhat uncooperative” with the second set of officers who respond, prosecutors said.

“He additionally seems to threaten his good friend,” they wrote.

Defense legal professional Zachary Thornley mentioned Gionet did not break any legal guidelines or violate any circumstances of his launch.

“I really don’t know why we’re all here today,” he mentioned throughout a distant listening to Friday.

“We’re all here because your client recorded all of this and put it up on YouTube, which a smart person might wonder if that’s what you should be doing while you’re under court supervision,” the Justice of the Peace countered.

Prosecutors say the video seems to be a money-making automobile for Gionet, a social media character who was listed as one of many audio system on the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted in violence in 2017.

Back to top button