Fort Mill, S.C. man charged for role in Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol

Court documents say the man felt ashamed and like he made “a big mistake.”
Paul Colbath was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds,...
Paul Colbath was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.(United States Department of Justice)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 7:08 PM EST
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A man from Fort Mill has been charged for his role in the January 6, 2021 storming of U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

After the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the FBI began soliciting information and tips concerning violence at the Capitol on the FBI’s website.

Paul Colbath was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.

Colbath was arrested on Oct. 28 in Columbia, South Carolina.

According to court documents from the United States Department of Justice, on Jan. 11, 2021, a tipster contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Threat Operations Center to report that Colbath had been publicly bragging to friends and family about participating in the riots within the United States Capitol Building.

On or about Jan. 22, 2021, court documents say Colbath agreed to be interviewed by the FBI at his home. The court documents say Colbath stated that he did not “assault” the Capitol building, but did enter it via an open door.

During the interview, court documents say Colbath stated that when he first went into the Capitol building, he was in a hallway, and saw a cloud of what he believed was tear gas, and he saw a man near him who had been affected by the tear gas.

He reportedly ushered the unidentified man into a nearby office to get fresh air. He reportedly did not know whose office he was in.

“He advised that he saw a broken window and vandalism to the office, and when he saw the clear signs of destruction, he knew that being in the Capitol building was wrong. He only stayed in the office a short time, and he believed it was no more than five minutes,” the court document reads.

The document goes on to state that Colbath provided two video files via text message that he claimed he had made with his phone just before going inside the Capitol building.

One of the videos appears to have been made from the outside of a door to the Capitol building from the perspective of someone approximately 15-20 people back in the crowd. The crowd was making entry to the Capitol building through the door.

Colbath reportedly said he left the area around 4:56 p.m. and headed back to his hotel by 5 p.m. to avoid violating the curfew that had been put in effect.

Court documents say he made it back to his hotel and stayed the night before returning to South Carolina the next morning.

Court documents say Colbath said it felt good to get this off his chest, saying he did not want to turn himself in, because he did not feel like he did anything criminal, but that he still felt guilt about his participation.

Colbath reportedly felt ashamed and like he made “a big mistake.”

Court documents say Colbath did not take any weapons with him to the Capitol or plan to promote sedition or overthrow the government.

An FBI task force officer says they identified Colbath on closed-circuit video (CCV) from inside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. The video reportedly captured Colbath entering the Capitol building through the Senate Fire Door at approximately 2:42 p.m. and looking to the left.

Court documents say Colbath is seen walking with another man into a side office. Shortly after, Colbath leaves the Capitol building and reenters approximately 30 seconds later. Colbath then exits the Capitol building for the second time approximately six minutes after he initially entered.

The FBI officer says they identified additional CCV footage of Colbath on the Capitol grounds on the Upper West Terrace after he was seen exiting the Capitol building.

Court documents say around Aug. 26, 2021, Colbath voluntarily came to an interview at the Rock Hill Resident Agency of the FBI. During the interview,

Colbath reportedly reviewed CCV video footage and still images of himself inside and outside the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021 and confirmed that he was the subject identified as such in the videos and photographs.

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