Battle Ground man arrested, charged in Jan. 6 breaching of the U.S. Capitol building

Jeffrey Grace was arrested Jan. 28 and appeared in District Court on Thursday

BATTLE GROUND — A 61-year-old Battle Ground resident is facing up to a year in prison, charged with being among hundreds of people who breached the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

Jeffrey Grace, 61, of Battle Ground can be seen in the background of this photo taken during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. Photo courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigations
Jeffrey Grace, 61, of Battle Ground can be seen in the background of this photo taken during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. Photo courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigations

Jeffrey Grace was arrested Jan. 28 at his home and charged with one count of unauthorized entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, according to charging documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Grace made a first appearance in Federal Court in Portland on Thursday, according to reporting by The Seattle Times newspaper. It wasn’t immediately clear if Grace had an attorney.

The FBI affidavit states that an informant called a tip line on Jan. 19 to report that Grace had been in the Capitol during the siege. Grace was interviewed two days later by agents outside of his home, and acknowledged traveling to Washington, D.C., along with his son, saying they were there to sightsee and attend the rally in support of then-President Donald Trump.

After the rally, Grace said he and his son became separated and he started walking with a crowd of people down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol Building. 

According to agents, Grace said he entered the building on the north side after seeing an open door, adding that Capitol police appeared to be “overwhelmed by the number of protesters and looked scared.”

Grace stated that, once inside the building, he entered the Capitol rotunda, but did not go anywhere else. 

As protesters violently clashed with police, Grace said he had “picked up items that others knocked over,” and left after witnessing damage caused by others who had entered the building.

Grace also said he spotted a man carrying a metal pipe and asked him to hand it over. When the man refused, Grace said he took it from him and hid it behind something.

Grace said he didn’t take any photos or video, but people had contacted him letting him know that he was visible in a widely circulated photo of a man carrying a lectern belonging to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through the rotunda. 

Battle Ground resident Jeffrey Grace, 61, was identified in the background of this now-infamous photo taken during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. Photo courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigations
Battle Ground resident Jeffrey Grace, 61, was identified in the background of this now-infamous photo taken during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. Photo courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigations

Grace attempted to leave the same way he came in, but found the door blocked by law enforcement. He told agents he then followed a crowd of people and left through a window that had previously been broken out.

According to the court documents, FBI agents obtained closed circuit camera footage from inside the rotunda which confirmed that Grace was present, wearing a shirt with a Betsy Ross-style American flag on it. 

The video reportedly also showed Grace picking up items, hiding something behind a statue, and reattaching velvet ropes knocked over by other protesters. After speaking with someone else briefly, Grace can be seen leaving the building.

According to the documents, Grace claimed he was not a member of any group, and did not advocate violence, though he admitted to knowing people belonging to groups such as the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and the 1 Percent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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