Federal Way mother’s Facebook post inadvertently leads FBI to son linked to Jan. 6 riot

Aug 5, 2021, 11:56 AM | Updated: Aug 6, 2021, 5:23 am
Federal Way man arrested, January 6 riot...
Closed circuit TV footage the FBI used to identify a Federal Way man at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (U.S. District Court filing)
(U.S. District Court filing)

A Federal Way man was arrested and charged on Wednesday after investigators were tipped off by a Facebook post made by his mother that included photos of him inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.

Initially, Tyler Slaeker’s mother had posted photos taken by her son inside the Capitol to Facebook on Jan. 6, 2021. A commenter then asked whether there was any violence. His mother responded, “not until some people entered one of the interior passages and police were waiting, then it was a pushing match.”

“Tyler says he didn’t see any shooting incident, but heard there was one,” she continued. “The pictures Tyler sent of the crowds show normal, middle class, even older crowds, and they aren’t Antifa, but Antifa will show up.”

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A friend of his mother then took a screenshot of the post, photos, and subsequent comments, and sent them to the FBI. According to court documents acquired by KIRO Radio reporter Hanna Scott, investigators then reviewed closed-circuit video footage from inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6. From that footage, they were able to identify Slaeker in numerous rooms throughout the building based on what he was wearing in the photos his mother had posted to Facebook.

Slaeker has been charged for disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, as well as parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, both misdemeanors. The former charge comes with a prison sentence of up to a year, provided his actions didn’t result in “significant bodily injury.” If they did, the sentence could result in up to 10 years in prison.

He was released on his recognizance shortly after his arrest, and is scheduled to be arraigned over Zoom in Washington, D.C. court on Monday.

At least six people from Washington state have been formally charged for a range of offenses linked to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, including Seattle-area Proud Boy Ethan Nordean.

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Federal Way mother’s Facebook post inadvertently leads FBI to son linked to Jan. 6 riot