Alaska man offers first-hand account of US Capitol riot to Kenai radio station

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Security is tight in the nation’s Capitol due to the protest that took place Jan. 6. On that day, as Congress prepared to certify the electoral college vote count, riotous protestors stormed the capitol, interrupting proceedings.

Trapper Alsworth of Kenai says he was there and shared his experience during a guest appearance by phone with radio talk show host Bob Bird. Kenai radio station KSRM broadcast the interview, which occurred during a weekday afternoon show called “Bird’s Eye View.” The station also provided Alaska’s News Source with an audio recording of that broadcast.

On Friday, and again on Monday prior to our broadcast, Alsworth declined our interview requests. However, he did tell us that if he had known what was going to happen at the capitol on Jan. 6, he never would have gone there.

The events of that day left five people dead and have lead to several arrests, and the FBI continues to seek the public’s help in identifying individuals who participated in the violence.

Alsworth gave his account to KSRM after staying up all night to attend a pro-Trump rally held away from the Capitol and following the crowd as it marched to the building. What follows is a summary of that radio appearance, with some excerpts of what Alsworth said.

“President Trump said that it was going to be a wild protest. I think it really was,” Alsworth told Bird as they discussed the events of the day.

Alsworth said he was fifth in line for a prime spot for the rally and presidential appearance.

“It was just awesome to be with a bunch of Americans that really do love their country,” he said during the show.

At the rally, the president spoke about voter fraud and not giving up. But being first in line for the rally meant being last in line for the march. Alsworth described becoming teary-eyed from tear gas that was lingering in the air and hearing explosions, possibly concussive grenades.

“I thought, well, I’m going to follow the crowd. So I follow the crowd and I marched up the Senate steps and I got to the top, and at that point, there was some huge cheers and some people had gotten through the Senate doors,” he said.

“Nobody was violent. As a matter of fact, when they were going into the building, there was a guy on a megaphone saying, ‘respect our house, this is our house. Don’t break anything in our house,’” he said.

Alsworth describes large masses of people swelling in and out of the building. One wave of people pushing toward police and through barriers; a second wave in the opposite direction carried fatigued and possibly injured protestors back outside.

Watching it all, Alsworth said, “Was sort of like walking through a museum. People are like ‘Cool. The Capitol building.’”

When asked whether he’d gained entry to the building by one of the talk show hosts, Alsworth said, “At one point, I did gain access to the Capitol building. I simply didn’t have any choice but to gain access to the Capitol building. There was such a sea of people.”

Alsworth would not confirm to Alaska’s News Source whether he’d gone inside the Capitol building prior to the publication of this story; however, the day after publication, Alsworth reached out again and said he went up the steps and to an outdoor balcony, but did not enter the building.

Alsworth goes on during the show to describe protesters trying to push further into the building, opening doors and chanting “Fight for Trump!”

As for the clashes between protestors and police, Alsworth said police conducted themselves “almost exactly” like you’d expect them to when dealing with a crowd that was breaking through barriers and breaking into the Capitol.

At the time of the interview with KSRM, Alsworth wasn’t sure whether words like “coup” and “riot” best described the events of the day.

“I wouldn’t agree with it being a coup ... I mean, first of all, you know, you don’t just storm a building and not have an after plan, you know, and you would need defined leaders, and ideas, sets of principles. This was totally organic thing. I wish I could have seen what ended up sparking it,” he said

Alsworth described the crowd as people who felt there was more to what they were doing. “Seems to me like rioting is, you know, is ruining stuff without a purpose, but there is a lot of purpose in what these people were doing.”

“I’ve never been to a riot where after breaking through those things, I’ve seen people put their hands on the walls in and pray over the wall of the building where they believe that a lot of evil has been done to them and their entire posterity,” he said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Alsworth’s post-publication claim that he did not enter the Capitol building.

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