Bloomington metal sale leads to arrest of Bedford man for alleged role in Capitol riots
MITCHELL, Ind. (WISH) — Surveillance video at a Bloomington scrapyard led to the arrest of a Bedford man for his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
William Wilkerson was arrested last week in Mitchell and charged with four misdemeanor counts of unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol during the riots.
On Jan. 6, 2021, a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened at the Capitol. At 1 p.m., elected members were set to begin certifying the vote count of the Electoral College for the 2020 presidential election.
Around 2 p.m., a large crowd entered the Capitol forcefully, breaking windows and assaulting members of the U.S. Capitol Police force. At 2:20 p.m., elected members, including then Vice President Mike Pence, were told to evacuate their respective chambers.
According to court documents, Wilkerson entered the Capitol through the Senate Wing doors just before 3:30 p.m., about half an hour before the second breach of that entrance on Jan. 6, 2021.
Security video and live-streamed video from right-wing activist Tim “Baked Alaksa” Gionet shows Wilkerson inside the Capitol with a Confederate flag draped around his neck.
On Jan. 8, 2021, investigators found Wilkerson’s Facebook posts from Jan. 7, 2021. The posts included selfies of Wilkerson at the Washington National Monument on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I made it here showing my colors,” the post said in a comment.
“Real patriots did infiltrate the capitol. I watched it happen. The media is all lies unless they were there,” another post said.
Over a year later, the FBI asked local law enforcement for database checks on Wilkerson after learning that he may have been living in Greene County. Law enforcement found four photos of Wilkerson inside of JB’s Salvage, Inc., a salvage yard in Bloomington in December 2020.
Indiana law requires valuable metal dealers to verify a driver’s license for each person taking valuable metal. JB’s Salvage, Inc. then had Wilkerson’s ID on file.
In the photos, Wilkerson appeared to be wearing the same jacket he wore in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
In February 2022, a witness identified Wilkerson in a photo from inside the Capitol. Wilkerson had told the witness that he intended to join a rally in Washington, D.C.
The witness also gave agents Wilkerson’s last known phone number, which investigators used to verify his location inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.