by Julie Kelly
When he walked outside his central New Jersey home last Wednesday morning at 7am to go to work, Greg Yetman, 47, found himself surrounded by at least two dozen armed FBI agents and military-style SWAT vehicles to serve an arrest warrant related to his participation in the events of January 6.
“Greg walked out, froze in the face of guns drawn, and ran,” his brother, Todd, told me by phone last Friday. Todd, Greg, and another brother live in the house their father built in the small town of Helmetta.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force organized an “urgent” manhunt, deploying drones, helicopters, and police dogs to find Yetman. Authorities called in reinforcements and opened a command headquarters in the town’s community center. Neighbors were told to shelter-in-place.
Officers raided every inch of the Yetman’s property. “They went nutty, tore up the house, stuff scattered everywhere,” Todd told me. Police threw flashbangs into a shed and garage, damaging cars and his boat.
After spending two nights in the woods, Greg Yetman, who had been cooperating with the FBI for more than two years about his actions that day, turned himself in November 8.
Yetman, according to a fundraising site created to raise money for his defense, has a long military and law enforcement background:
An FBI investigator writing in a 21-page affidavit claimed Yetman sprayed a line of officers around 2:30pm on the west side of the Capitol grounds. The alleged assault lasted between 12 and 14 seconds. (He did not enter the building.) Police retreated from the line a few moments beforehand when a DC Metro Police officer misfired a large cannister of tear gas, which injured several officers who left the scene to seek aid.
Here is what happened when the line faltered. By this point, DC and Capitol Police had been attacking the crowd outside with gas, flashbangs (explosive devices), rubber bullets, and pepper balls for more than an hour:
Yetman’s movements can be seen here:
So, why would a member of the military whose Facebook profile proudly lists his work as a “military police soldier with the New Jersey Army National Guard” at the top of his bio assault police on Jan 6?
Video appears to show Yetman attempted to help, not hurt, police as clashes with protesters escalated. After he emptied the cannister, which belonged to DC police, he tossed it back in their direction:
The affidavit includes a doctored screenshot of the “attack” that attempts to show the line of chemical spray aimed at officers. But it is clear Yetman attempted to spray the gas over the heads of officers to hit protesters standing behind them.
Yetman’s own social media post indicate he tried to assist “our brothers and sisters in blue.” He wrote this a few days after the protest:
“Once the violence started that’s where it went too far. Seeing the eyes of the officers trying to hold the line is what killed me the most…they were scared and concerned for each other’s safety. As a service member and a military police soldier I know, understand, respect, and defend that bond that we have as a unified and dedicated team. They are there to do their job, and many of them probably feel the same way we do about what happened in this election, because most police, first responders, and service members love and support Trump because he loves and supports us.”
“To my brothers and sisters in blue, I’m sorry for what happened at the Capitol. Without law and order we’re no better than those who stole the election. Thank you for holding the line. Stay safe out there and watch each other’s sixes.”
Yetman’s case is being prosecuted by Matthew Graves, Biden’s handpicked U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Graves continues to arrest Capitol protesters every week in advance of Donald Trump’s March 4 trial in Washington related to the events of January 6. According to an update posted by his office last week, the DOJ has charged more than 1,200 individuals in what Graves calls the “Capitol Siege” investigation; he told the Washington Post in 2022 the total caseload could exceed 2,000 before the statute of limitations expires on most offenses.