A California man who is wanted by the FBI for allegedly joining the mob that invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6 over what they wrongly believed was a stolen election has fled the nation and is seeking refuge in dictatorial Belarus.
Evan Neumann, 48, was accused in March of six insurgency-related charges, including two felonies for assaulting police and inciting a civil riot.
On November 7, he informed the state-controlled Belarus 1 news station that his lawyer had urged him to leave for Europe. He stated the accusations against him were “unfounded” and amounted to “political persecution.”
Neumann remarked in a news broadcast titled “Goodbye, America!” that he went to great measures to avoid capture by US law enforcement, devising a Catch Me if You Can–style escape.”
He said he went to the EU under the cover of a business trip in March and then took the train to Switzerland. He claimed to have driven to Germany and then to Poland from there. In mid-March, he went into Ukraine and resided in central Zhytomyr. He said he rented an apartment there for four months before deciding to exit the country as well.
The great majority of those charged in the Capitol riots were apprehended without incident and if permitted to go home while their cases were pending, complied with the pretrial release restrictions imposed by courts.
Neumann is one of at least three defendants who have either escaped arrest or failed to appear in court following their first arrest. More than 650 persons have been charged federally.
Photos from Neumann’s criminal complaint show him reportedly shoving a guard rail and striking a police officer identified only as “J.M.”
Neumann’s participation in an election-related uprising on Jan. 6 was not his first. According to US officials, citing Neumann’s LinkedIn page, he took part in Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. That rebellion overturned Viktor Yanukovych’s stolen presidential election.
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