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Santa Rosa man arrested on suspicion of trespassing, disrupting US Congress on Jan. 6, 2021

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Santa Rosa man who faces federal charges for entering the U.S. Capitol a year ago, when a violent mob stormed the building in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

FBI agents arrested Daniel Shaw on Dec. 3, 2021, in Santa Rosa, according to an arrest warrant filed in federal court, and released him on his own recognizance on Dec. 14. He faces four misdemeanor charges in a case that is set to begin in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., next week.

Federal authorities have arrested more than 725 people in the year since the riot, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Capitol security video footage shows Shaw, 55, entering the building through the Rotunda Doors, the ornate wooden doors on the Capitol’s east side. In a still photograph from the video included in the affidavit, Shaw is seen holding up his cellphone, presumably filming, as he and a crush of rioters press through the doorway, passing between two Capitol police officers who are not resisting the flood of people.

Other photographs show Shaw taking a photograph of his son inside the building. Shaw is not charged with any violent acts, nor is he charged with any vandalism or property destruction.

Shaw is charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with the intent to disrupt government business; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. All the charges hold maximum penalties of up to a year in prison or a $100,000 fine.

Shaw’s son does not appear to have been arrested or charged with any crimes.

A man reached on Shaw’s cellphone Thursday would not identify himself and said “no thanks” and ended the call when asked if he wanted to comment on the case. Shaw did not respond to a subsequent voicemail from a reporter seeking comment.

A federal public defender listed as Shaw’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson with the San Francisco FBI office declined to comment on the case, citing ongoing investigations into the events of Jan. 6.

The affidavit accompanying an arrest warrant suggests federal investigators arrived at Shaw through a June interview with another indicted suspect, Kenneth John Reda of Florida. Reda told investigators he traveled to Washington and stayed in a hotel room with Shaw and Shaw’s high school aged son. Shaw and his son drove from California to take part in protests against the election results.

The morning of Jan. 6, the three men had breakfast and walked around, Reda told FBI agents. They made their way to the Ellipse, a 52-acre park south of the White House, where Trump spoke to protesters and urged them to march on the Capitol, where lawmakers were certifying the election results.

By the time they reached the Capitol grounds, a crowd had gathered and they heard flashbang grenades, Reda said. Capitol Police officers allowed groups into the building, including himself, he told investigators.

Reda also described seeing a man whom he believed to be a member of the Oath Keepers organization directing people into the Capitol, allegedly after speaking with police officers. The Oath Keepers have been accused of some of the most serious crimes during the Jan. 6 riot, with 17 affiliates of the group facing federal conspiracy charges. The Press Democrat recently reported on more than 100 residents of the North Bay who enrolled in that organization, which extremism watchers have labeled an anti-democratic radical group.

Shaw does not appear in a set of leaked Oath Keeper membership data obtained by The Press Democrat.

The set of charges against Shaw puts him in “the largest bucket” of arrested rioters, Jon Lewis, a research fellow with the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, said. Prosecutors have brought the same four misdemeanor charges against people who were caught inside the Capitol but did not commit more destructive or egregious crimes.

These are “folks who aren’t accused of violence,” Lewis said, “aren’t accused of being part of these violent militant groups like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers. But they did go into the capitol building.”

Some similar cases are ending with judges meting out home detention or probation, Lewis said.

Some of those who entered the capitol have defended themselves by saying they were pushed in by the flow of the crowd. Others have argued they did not think they were breaking any laws because police officers weren’t trying to stop them, as appears to be the case in the surveillance photographs of Shaw.

“Judges are rejecting the vast majority of those arguments simply because they don’t hold up to any kind of scrutiny,” Lewis said.

Over the course of the day, rioters injured up to 140 police officers who tried to stop them from entering the building, one of whom died the day following the attack. Two other officers died by suicide in the days that followed the riot.

While Shaw appears to be the first current Santa Rosa resident arrested for actions on Jan. 6, his indictment follows that of Evan Neumann, a Mill Valley resident who grew up in Santa Rosa. Neumann was indicted on Dec. 13 on charges that included assaulting three law enforcement officers. Neumann was recorded yelling at officers that he was willing to die and using a steel barricade as a battering ram as the crowds fought their way toward the seat of United States government.

Authorities believe Neumann is in the country of Belarus, where he has been since February and is seeking asylum.

You can reach Staff Writer Andrew Graham at 707-526-8667 or andrew.graham@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @AndrewGraham88.

Andrew Graham

Business enterprise and investigations, The Press Democrat 

I dig into businesses, utility companies and nonprofits to learn how their actions, or inactions, impact the lives of North Bay residents. I’m looking to dive deep into public utilities, labor struggles and real estate deals. I try to approach my work with the journalism axioms of giving voice to the voiceless, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable in mind.

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