CAPE CHARLES, Va. (WRIC)– A Virginia man is speaking out about his experience attending an event in support of President Trump, which ultimately turned into a riot and insurrection Wednesday.
Richmond native and Cape Charles resident Richard Phillips witnessed the events as a riot broke out and people began to storm the U.S Capitol in Washington D.C. Phillips told 8news, he traveled to the U.S Capitol in support of President Donald Trump. He also decided to attend due to his uncertainty about the 2020 Presidential Election results.
“I’m not confident about how this election took place,” Phillips said.
He didn’t know the day would end as an insurrection. What initially began as a day of speeches, turned into mayhem.
According to Phillips, he found out about the event via social media and got to the Union Station parking lot at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. He told 8news, he was joined by a massive crowd filled with people from all over the country.
He immediately noticed the lack of law enforcement.
“There were very few police officers,” Phillips said.
According to schedule, speeches finished up before 11 a-m. Phillips told 8news, President Trump was supposed to speak after but didn’t arrive until just after 12:15 p.m. Phillips left just before 1 p.m. and head to the Capitol.
He told 8news, he sat down on a bench just a block and a half away from the Capitol. At this time, he said a crowd started to gather.
“We start to hear a pop pop pop. We looked over and you can see it looks like people have cherry bombs are something in the crowd that they’re setting off,” Phillips said. “”Why are they doing that?”
He recalls witnessing people starting to climb up the scaffolding to wave flags, as tear gas was deployed.
“A military flare goes off,” Phillips said.
He also remembered being at least three blocks from the Capitol, when a young man on a bicycle rode by him
“He’s on a bicycle and he’s like Paul Revere,” Phillips said. “He’s going to every group of people and he’s saying, ‘We’ve breached the perimeter and we’re on the hill so hurry up.’ I’m not breaching a perimeter.”
At 2:49p.m. on Wednesday afternoon Phillips received an alert on his phone that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a city-wide curfew starting at 6p.m.
At this point he knew he had to leave. However, Phillips said when he tried to, another man stopped him.
“He’s got on a helmet and goggles and a rubber mask that’s got that big smile on it that looks like the joker or something, and he stops us,” Phillips said. “He says, ‘Oh my god I have body cam video of somebody being shot inside. I was inside when they were shot.'”
As crews put up fencing around the Capitol, some say they’re anxious about any further activity leading up to Inauguration Day.
“I don’t believe that the classic Trump supporter is going to walk up and do anything. But, I can understand why they would be frustrated,” Phillips said.
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