CRIME

AZ man dressed as Captain Moroni arrested after Capitol raid

Jul 16, 2021, 4:29 PM | Updated: Jul 17, 2021, 9:10 pm
Captain Moroni arrested after Capitol riot...
Screenshot: FBI criminal complaint filed in support of the arrest of Nathan Etrekin.

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. — FBI agents arrested an Arizona man they say illegally entered the US Capitol on January 6th dressed as Captain Moroni from the Book of Mormon, a book held as sacred scripture by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni led armies against a group who sought to replace a democratic government with a king.   

Man dressed as Captain Moroni stood out in Capitol siege

The FBI says Nathan Entrekin was among those who stormed the US Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 election. FBI agent Trevor Culbert said his outfit on that day made Entrekin stand out in the crowd.

“The individual who would later be identified as the defendant—Nathan Wayne Entrekin—stood out from the crowd due to the outfit he chose to wear on January 6, 2021, in part because of the temperature, and in part because of the unique nature of the costume,” Culbert stated in court documents.

“In all the photos and videos of the defendant, he is carrying a wooden dowel with a piece of white cloth attached. The cloth appears to have the following text handwritten on it: IN MEMORY OF OUR GOD, OUR RELIGION, AND FREEDOM, AND OUR PEACE, OUR WIVES, AND OUR CHILDREN. ALMA 46:12”  The reference is to a passage in the Book of Mormon and a flag known as the “Title of Liberty.”  

Court documents reference a video posted to YouTube on Jan. 7, 2021, of Entrekin speaking to an interviewer at the Capitol.

“I am Captain Moroni. I am the William Wallace of the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Alma of the Book of Mormon, a freedom fighter named Captain Moroni fought for his freedom against the King-Men… I’m here for freedom. You’re here for freedom. Captain Moroni ripped his coat and he wrote this message right here.”

The FBI said that Entrekin posted photos of himself in costume in Washington across various social media platforms in the days after January 6. They also identified him from other photos posted to social media and taken inside the Capitol.

“I made it, Mom”

During an interview with the FBI, Entrekin said former President Donald Trump inspired him to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington. He told agents he drove his own car from Arizona to Washington, D.C. to attend.

“The defendant further stated that he missed then-President Trump’s speech on the morning of January 6, 2021. The defendant claims that at approximately 11:30 AM, he saw a mass of people walking towards the Capitol. He decided to follow them.”

Videos made up some of the evidence against Entrekin; the FBI say he recorded himself both inside and outside the Capitol building in his Captain Moroni costume. The intended future recipient: his mother. 

“I’m here, Mom!” he said in one video described by the FBI in the affidavit. “This is my flag.” 

In another video clip recorded about 30 minutes later, the FBI quoted Entrekin again narrating the events for his mother. 

“I made it, Mom,” he said, after reaching an upper level on the Capitol’s west side. “Mom, look, I made it to the top, to the top here. Look at all the patriots here. Haha, if I can make it up that, anybody can.”  

Inside the Capitol

The FBI cited two instances where closed-circuit television captured Entrekin entering the Capitol. Their account noted some inconsistencies with his story to agents and videos he shot inside the capitol himself.

“The defendant further stated that while he was on the lawn of the Capitol, he became aware that law enforcement officers (LEOs) at the Capitol sprayed individuals with a chemical irritant. The defendant further stated that he pushed onward and claims to have entered the Capitol approximately one hour after other protestors initially breached the Capitol,” the FBI stated in the complaint.

The FBI says during their interview, Entrekin claimed he was unaware he was not allowed in the Capitol. He also told them as soon as he saw looting and breaking of glass, he wanted to leave.  

“The defendant … claimed that his experience inside the Capitol was “solemn” and “revered.” The defendant further claimed that when he observed broken glass and the looting of offices, he felt the need to depart the Capitol immediately. These claims are inconsistent with the fact that the defendant identified very early that he could see and smell tear gas. The defendant also made a point of narrating to his mother when the “riot police” arrived.”

In another video, Entrekin joked to his mother that he was grateful to be away from the rubber bullets. 

“I should’ve bought that centurion helmet after all,” he said. 

Arresting documents show authorities took Entrekin into custody in Cottonwood, Ariz., on Thursday. 


Related: 

Pres. Trump to protesters: “Go home”; Utah politicians condemn violence at Capitol

New to the job, Utah Rep. Blake Moore describes chaos at US Capitol

Hundreds participate in “Stop The Steal” rally at Utah State Capitol

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AZ man dressed as Captain Moroni arrested after Capitol raid