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Penn Stater Arrested, Charged For Involvement In January 6 Capitol Riots

A Penn State graduate and Pittsburgh substitute teacher was arrested and charged Friday morning for his alleged involvement in January 6’s Capitol riots, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Robert Morss was arrested by the FBI in Pittsburgh and charged with assault, resisting or impeding officers, civil disorder, robbery of personal property of the United States, and obstruction of an official proceeding. He is slated for a court appearance Friday afternoon.

According to a 28-page affidavit obtained by the Trib, police identified Morss through still images, surveillance videos, and body cam footage. Footage showed Morss wearing camouflage clothing, a tactical vest, gloves, and, occasionally, a “Make America Great Again” hat. He wore the latter as a Penn State student when leading the university’s Bull-Moose Party chapter, which supported Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign.

He was captured attempting to breach police lines and grab an officer’s baton. Morss was also found attempting to take an officer’s helmet visor. Bodycam footage allegedly found Morss talking to officers, saying, “You guys are betraying us. You get paid enough to betray your people? This is our Capitol. This is our Capitol.”

The affidavit says Morss was also observed saying he wanted the crowd to “take [the] Capitol back.” He also allegedly organized a crowd to form a “shield wall” and break past officers guarding the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace doors.

Later, Morss allegedly entered the Capitol through a broken window, winding up in an unassigned Congressional office.

Witnesses identified Morss as a Penn State graduate when contacting the FBI to track down those who participated. Another witness allegedly told the agency that Morss might struggle with mental health issues following his military service.

Morss is not the first Penn Stater or State College local allegedly found in connection to January 6’s riots. Julian Khater, a former State College business owner, was arrested back in March for his alleged involvement in the events.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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