Military college student from N.J. charged in Capitol attack is son of soap opera star, reports say
A 19-year-old college freshman from South Carolina who recently lived in New Jersey is charged with storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with two other young men, the FBI alleges in court papers.
Elias Irizarry is a graduate of Montclair High School, and the son of Vincent Irizarry, a longtime soap opera star, NorthJersey.com reported. Several news organizations in South Carolina reported Irizarry is a student at the The Citadel, a military university in Charleston.
In a criminal complaint filed against Irizarry and an apparent friend, Elliot Bishai, 20, also of South Carolina, the FBI says they appear in several videos and pictures of rioters, including climbing through a broken window. In one photo, Irizarry held a metal pipe.
Also with them was Grayson Sherrill, a North Carolina man charged in a separate complaint.
Irizarry and Bishai were identified to the FBI by members of a Civil Air Patrol unit to which both are active, authorities said. Members spotted unique clothing they wore, including Bishai’s backpack and the way Irizarry wore his boots.
Also, a witness told FBI agents that Irizarry and Bishai locations on the social media app Snapchat put them in Washington, D.C. on January 6.
Each is charged with three crimes accusing them of disruptive conduct inside a restricted building.
They appeared in federal court in South Carolina on Tuesday and were freed on bond pending future court appearances, the Post and Courier newspaper reported.
After the hearing, Bishai’s father and Elias’ mother, Lorraine Irizarry, told reporters their sons intended no harm and were swept up in the hundreds who stormed inside the Capitol to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Lorraine Irizarry said her son stopped to thank Capitol police for their service then cried when he returned home from Washington, saying he did not expect the protest to be so violent, the Post and Courier reported.
NorthJersey.com also reported that Irizarry was chairman of the Essex County Teenage Republicans while at Montclair High School, and in 2017 he spoke at a town council meeting against naming Montclair a sanctuary city. “We need to put Montclair citizens first, not undocumented foreigners,” Irizarry said.
Among the hundreds of suspects charged so far with participating in the Capitol attack, 14 are from New Jersey.