FBI looking for Marin County man accused of taking part in US Capitol riot
Federal authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a Marin County man they say punched a U.S. Capitol Police officer and used a metal barricade to strike other officers during the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
Evan Neumann, 48, of Mill Valley is accused of numerous offenses, including assaulting law enforcement personnel, knowingly entering a restricted area and making a violent entry and participating in disorderly conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds, according to a March 23 criminal complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
As of Thursday, Neumann, the son of the late Santa Rosa hotelier Claus Neumann, who ran the iconic Los Robles Lodge on Cleveland Avenue and the Hotel La Rose in Railroad Square, remained at large, according to federal records.
A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in an email Thursday, declined to discuss the investigation.
In addition, Neumann could not be reached for comment about the allegations against him. It is unclear if he has obtained legal counsel to speak on his behalf.
The complaint, which was unsealed June 25 in order to obtain the public’s help in finding Neumann, details his roughly 30-minute confrontation with police on the Capitol building’s west front, which was captured on police body-worn cameras.
The video shows Neumann wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat with a gas mask hanging around his neck as he stops in front of a Capitol police officer stationed behind a barricade. The barricade blocks both Neumann and the rest of the crowd from gaining access to the Capitol building.
As the crowd grows more contentious, Neumann begins to verbally antagonize the officer before threatening him and then physically assaulting him and other officers nearby, according to court documents.
Read the complaint here:
He allegedly tells the officer that the Capitol Police “ ‘kneel to Antifa because they’re little bitches,’ and ... the officer has ‘no pride, no honor, you’re nothing.’ He then threatens ... that the officers will be ‘overrun’ by the crowd, and says ‘I’m willing to die, are you?’ ” according to court documents.
Neumann grabs the metal barricade, which he lifts up and pushes into the officer, according to the court documents. While Capitol Police officers attempt to maintain control of the barricade, the affidavit states, Neumann reaches over the blockade and strikes at least one of the officers with his fist.
He and others in the crowd continue to try to break past the metal barricade.
“As (the officer) attempts to pull the metal barricade out of Neumann’s hands, Neumann, now using the barricade as a battering ram, lifts the barricade off the ground and rushes toward (the officer) and the other officers, crossing into the now-broken police line and striking them with the barricade,” according to court documents.
In January, in the weeks after the riot, the FBI added Neumann to a list of suspects in its investigation. An anonymous tipster identified Neumann as the person authorities are looking for, according to the criminal complaint.
FBI investigators observed Neumann leaving his Mill Valley residence in February and followed him to the international terminal at the San Francisco International Airport, where they subsequently interviewed him.
Neumann told the agents he flew to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 and departed on Jan. 7, and that he had interacted with law enforcement, but declined to elaborate and did not respond to questions about whether he entered any federal buildings or physically confronted officers, according to court documents.
Approximately 140 police officers were assaulted on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, as supporters of President Donald Trump attempted to disrupt the certification of the November election he lost. Those injured included about 80 U.S. Capitol Police and about 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department, officials said, adding that in the six months since the riot occurred more than 535 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states.
Neumann’s alleged actions in Washington, D.C., are not his first brush with law enforcement.
In October 2017, about a week after the Tubbs fire destroyed his parents’ Fountaingrove home, Neumann and a relative were arrested when they crossed a National Guard barricade restricting access to damaged or destroyed properties.
Neumann told The Press Democrat that he had hoped to go to his family’s Lyon Court house to look for valuables.
After Neumann’s father died in 2011, he left the Fountaingrove house, which had been purchased in the 1990s, to Neumann’s mother.
Interviewed by The Press Democrat in January 2018, Evan Neumann said he was misled by an earlier conversation with law enforcement into thinking what he wanted to do was OK.
“I feel like it's unfair,” he said at the time. “I feel like I was suckered.”
Charged with a misdemeanor, Neumann’s relative accepted a plea bargain in which he served three years probation and performed 180 hours of community service.
Evan Neumann, though, initially vowed to act as his own lawyer and take the matter to trial. He said he’d successfully defended himself in the early 1990s after he was charged with scaling the Golden Gate Bridge.
However, despite his pledge, Neumann did not stand trial.
Instead, he pleaded no contest to illegally entering a disaster zone, a misdemeanor, as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors that resulted in him serving two years probation and 40 hours of community service.
Ten years before that incident, Santa Rosa police seized 179 marijuana plants and 1 pound of processed marijuana packaged for sale at Neumann’s Railroad Square-area home, authorities said.
He was arrested and charged with multiple felony counts of marijuana possession and marijuana cultivation, though he was only convicted of one count of illegal marijuana possession and later sentenced to serve 30 days in jail and three years probation.
You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or email@example.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The Press Democrat
Who calls the North Bay home and how do their backgrounds, socioeconomic status and other factors shape their experiences? What cultures, traditions and religions are celebrated where we live? These are the questions that drive me as I cover diversity, equity and inclusion in Sonoma County and beyond.