A Lindenhurst man was arrested on misdemeanor charges Thursday over his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Matthew Schmitz, 33, is charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and multiple counts of disorderly conduct, Magistrate Judge Anne Shields said during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. Schmitz was released on a $50,000 bond secured by his mother.
He did not enter a plea during Thursday’s removal hearing to face charges in Washington, D.C.
Schmitz, wearing a camouflage helmet and sweatshirt with an American flag handkerchief covering his face, entered a Senate Wing door of the U.S. Capitol and spent less than one minute inside before tear gas filled the hallways, according to charging documents. He then exited through a nearby window, prosecutors said.
License plate readers show Schmitz’s vehicle traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4 and returned to New York on Jan. 7, according to charging documents.
As part of his release on bond, Schmitz will be required to surrender two guns and will be prohibited from entering any state or federal Capitol buildings. He’s also not allowed to leave Long Island unless traveling for court appearances in Washington, D.C., or for work in New Jersey.
Shields also told Schmitz he is not to interact with any potential victims or witnesses to the alleged crimes, a point of contention for the defense, which argued that direction was broad.
“It doesn’t give Mr. Schmitz appropriate direction as to what he can and cannot do and whom he cannot speak to,” said appointed counsel Tracey Gaffey of Federal Defenders of New York.
Shields directed Schmitz to at least avoid contact with anyone he might have traveled with to the Capitol that day, though Gaffey said he has not conceded that he was in fact present on Jan. 6, 2021.
Schmitz, who declined to comment as he left the courthouse with family, is the second Suffolk County resident arrested this month over their alleged actions in the Capitol, which occurred as Congress was set to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Peter Moloney, 58, of Bayport, who was accused of spraying insecticide at the faces and bodies of police officers, was arrested on felony charges June 7. Moloney, a co-owner of Moloney Family Funeral Homes in Suffolk County, was charged with felony civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, assault by striking and five misdemeanor charges, according to the court documents.
In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states over crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors said.