Firsthand Account of Local Couples January 6, 2021 Experience

On July 28,2021, Therese Borgerding of Piqua was arrested on four misdemeanors charges relating to her entry into the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The charges were:

Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds without Lawful Authority

Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds

Parade, Demonstrate or Picket in any of the Capitol Buildings

Therese has pleaded not guilty to these charges. This is her and her husband’s, Richard, account of their experiences on January 6, 2021.

On January 6, the Borgerdings arrived at the Capitol grounds at 6:30 AM for the Trump Wild Rally at the rear of the Capitol. The couple said there were news media cameras already being set up when they arrived and truckloads of bottled water being brought in. They described the atmosphere as very calm and peaceful; however, they had the impression that the Capitol police were trying to rile up the crowd.

The exterior grounds of the Capitol were gated for non-entry, but at about 2:00 PM , two men opened the barrier gates, and Therese went onto the Capitol grounds. The Capitol steps were also roped off. The Capitol police removed those ropes, but Therese said rally goers did not go up the steps until Capitol police urged them forward. She went up the stairs.  (They were surprised to see a group of Catholic nuns on the steps too.) The Capitol doors were opened and she went in. Later the couple found out the Capitol doors, weighing several thousand pounds, only open from the inside and are magnetically sealed.

Richard did not enter the Capitol building because he did not want to be in a tight crowd due to  a neck injury, so he  observed from the outside. He said that while rally goers were entering the Capitol, Capitol police officers lounged by the side of the building with their hands in their pockets.

He observed that after a while, the Capitol doors closed for about 10 minutes. When the doors reopened, a group of people were let out and another group was ushered in. This happened repeatedly while groups of Capitol police stood around doing nothing. He heard a Capitol Police officer say “I voted for Trump. Calm down and I will let you all in.”

Therese did enter the Capitol. She said the crowd inside was very respectful. While she was in the building she was helped on the stairs by a police officer. She exited out of the Capitol through a broken window; however, she did not see any glass in the window frame or on the ground on either side of the building. Surprisingly there was a temporary ramp put up outside at the base of the window which she walked down.

After rejoining Richard, she saw a person leave the Capitol carrying a coat rack. The police did nothing to stop him. Richard said people were leaving the Capitol claiming to have been pepper sprayed, but they were smiling and using the bottled water to clean their eyes.

As they were leaving the grounds, they noticed that all the original fencing was stacked away orderly, and upon leaving the Capitol police said “Goodbye and have a great day!”

On July 28, 2021, Therese was called by the FBI with the order to turn herself in by 9:00 AM. The couple met the FBI in Dayton and were told, “WE don’t want to do this but Washington DC is making us.” After showing a warrant, the FBI requested keys to the Borgerding’s house. While the couple was in Dayton, The FBI went to Piqua. Piqua police shut down their entire block and the FBI had numerous vehicles in the front and rear of their house. There were close to 20 agents to carry out the search. The FBI took all the clothes Therese wore to the rally, her Q sign, and cut down her Q and Trump porch flags. The couple feels the FBI wanted to have a “big show.”

When questioned in Dayton, Therese admitted to being in the Capitol but said she was allowed in. When she was moved to the federal office building in Dayton, she was arrested, handcuffed and shackled. Richard was also questioned by the FBI in Dayton but not charged because he did not go into the building. When asked by the FBI why he went to DC on January 6, he said, “Because I thought there was voter fraud.” He said the agents replied, “Yes, there was voter fraud.”

Therese has yet to be tried because her trial has been delayed 14 times. The entire procedure has been over Zoom.

The ordeal has been very hard on the Borgerdings, and they have lost family and friends, but Therese said she is not worried, “God has it.”

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