York County man pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge in Capitol riots

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Two York County men, who are cadets with the Civil Air Patrol, were charged in March 2021 in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to an affidavit released by the FBI. One of them recently pleaded guilty.

Elliott Bishai, 20, and Elias Irizarry, 19, who is a cadet at The Citadel, were seen on video outside and inside of the Capitol building, the FBI said.

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Bishai and Irizarry were also seen on video with Grayson Sherrill, of Gaston County, who was also charged in the riots, the FBI stated in the affidavit.

Bishai and Irizzary were charged with the following:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • Knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted buildings or grounds
  • Violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds

On April 25, Bishai pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count for “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,” his attorney said. The charge is similar to a misdemeanor trespassing charge in state court.

Bishai and Irizarry spent time with each other in the Gastonia Civil Air Patrol. Bishai was promoted to second lieutenant while he was there. Another photo shows Bishai in the JROTC program at Nation Ford High School. Irizarry also is a graduate at Nation Ford.

Bishai was an honor student and freshman at The Citadel Military College in Charleston and is studying political science.

Statement from The Citadel:

“The Citadel is aware that federal charges have been filed against Elias Irizarry, a student currently enrolled at the college. We will continue to cooperate with the FBI and other authorities as this matter is resolved. Once this matter is resolved, The Citadel will take appropriate actions in accordance with the college’s rules and regulations. It would be inappropriate to speculate about any subsequent actions the college would take pending resolution of the charges.”

Statement from Don Brown, Bishai’s attorney:

“Yes, I represent Elliot Bishai, who was in court for his initial appearance today in federal court in Columbia, where the federal magistrate heard initial proffers, and then released Elliot without requiring him to post a bond. We are pleased and grateful with today’s court ruling, with no bond being required, which is at least a partial assessment of the court’s view of the case.

“During the hearing, the United States Attorney proffered to the court that Elliot is not being charged with any acts of violence or causing any harm to anyone. The charges that he currently faces, as we understand them, without being too technical, amount to variations federal misdemeanor charges of trespass of being in certain places on federal property without proper authority.

“We do take these charges very seriously, and Elliot has the greatest respect for the United States Capitol Police, for law enforcement, and for the United States Capitol. He loves the U.S. Capitol, loves his country and would never harm his country or the Capitol in any way.”