North Texas man accused of ‘egging on other rioters,’ pushing them into Capitol tunnel

A 28-year-old man from Mesquite has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Philip Anderson is charged with felony offenses of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding, along with misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

Anderson was arrested Tuesday in Mesquite and is expected to make his initial appearance in court Thursday in the Northern District of Texas, the DOJ said in a news release.

Anderson attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, on the national mall and afterward left to go to the Capitol building, according to court documents. He was identified on open-source video footage speaking into a megaphone at the Capitol grounds near a large crowd of rioters while wearing a “TRUMP 2020: Make America Great Again” sweatshirt, blue jeans and sometimes a red ball cap.

In one video, Anderson can be heard saying into the megaphone that the crowd would be “occupying the Capitol,” according to the Justice Department.

Photos from the riot showed Anderson standing on top of a statue at Peace Circle and raising the megaphone in the air, according to the DOJ. After that, he advanced closer to the Capitol, climbed the staircase to the upper west terrace and entered the Capitol building around 3:20 p.m., court documents say.

Immediately after he entered the Senate wing door, CCTV footage shows Anderson encounter several police officers in riot gear, according to the DOJ. He left the building and began giving speeches on the restricted Capitol grounds, the video shows. CCTV shows him later joining a crowd of rioters at the lower west terrace tunnel, pushing up against the police line there to enter the Capitol again, the release said.

In one instance, the DOJ said in the news release, Anderson was “egging on the other rioters by waving them in the direction of the tunnel.” He also pushed toward the entrance in a coordinated “heave-ho” effort, the release said.

Around 4:15 p.m., Anderson was seen on CCTV waving rioters again to push farther into the tunnel, according to the DOJ. He pushed other rioters in front of him aside so he could get closer to the police line at the Capitol entrance, authorities said. After a few seconds, Anderson advanced farther into the tunnel, pushing with the mob against police before he was repelled from the tunnel by law enforcement, the release said.

Anderson is one of more than 1,106 people arrested in connection with the insurrection since Jan. 6, 2021, according to the DOJ. More than 350 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.