Syracuse, NY ― A Syracuse man was arrested Wednesday, accused of being one of the first rioters who broke through police lines during the fatal storming of the U.S. Capitol in January.
Matthew Greene, of Burns Avenue in Eastwood, is identified as a member of the “Proud Boys,” a nationwide far-right extremist group that was among those accused of leading the assault that turned deadly Jan. 6.
A federal indictment accuses him of conspiring with others to “stop, delay, or hinder” Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote.
Greene and two others were indicted Wednesday on a 10-count indictment that included four felonies. They were accused of being part of a group that used a riot shield to break a window to gain entry to the building, according to the indictment.
Greene kept a Proud Boys pin at his home and advertised on at least one social media profile he was a first-degree Proud Boy, the indictment said.
Greene’s alleged co-conspirators are two accused ‘Proud Boys’ already facing charges in the riot: Dominic Pezzola, of Rochester, and William Pepe, of Beacon, in the Hudson Valley.
Greene and two men trampled police barriers near the First Street pedestrian entrance to the Capitol, the indictment said.
The three men were able to force their way into the Capitol by 2:13 p.m. Minutes later, members of Congress and the Vice President were evacuated from the building, the indictment said.
Greene and the two men used programmable handheld radios, encrypted messaging applications and other communication equipment to communicate and coordinate the attack, the indictment said.
The three men celebrated getting into the Capitol on social media, the indictment said.
“I’m good, we took the capital [sic],” Greene said to an associate through an encrypted messaging app, the indictment added.
Pezzola posted a video on social media that depicted him smoking a cigar inside the Capitol, the indictment said.
“I knew we could take this mother f—er over if we just tried enough,” Pezzola said. “Proud of your mother—ing boy.”
The indictment describes how Greene and the other two men led a crowd up a flight of stairs to confront the police trying to stop the crowd.
Pezzola forcibly took a riot shield from an officer, the indictment said.
“We ain’t stopping. We ain’t f—ing stopping!” Pezzola yelled at officers the indictment said. “F— you! You think Antifia’s f—ing bad, just you wait!’
The group’s plan was to attend the event in clandestine fashion before causing trouble, according to the indictment.
Greene was arrested Wednesday in Fabius and arraigned virtually before a federal magistrate judge, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick. Greene remains jailed at least until Monday, when a judge will determine whether to keep him in custody or not.
Greene’s residence at 264 Burns Ave. in Eastwood was raided by the FBI in late January. A different residence in Solvay was raided around the same time; no arrests have been made in the Solvay raid.
“His actions were dangerous, deliberate and illegal,” the FBI said in a news release. “Now, he must face the consequences.”
The top charge in Greene’s indictment is obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Greene faces four felonies and three misdemeanors:
- Conspiracy, felony
- Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding Abetting, felony
- Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder and Aiding and Abetting, felony
- Destruction of Government Property and Aiding and Abetting, felony
- Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds, misdemeanor
- Disorderly Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, misdemeanor
- Disorderly Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds and Aiding and Abetting, misdemeanor
Staff writer Douglass Dowty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-470-6070.