Capitol defendants

The attorney representing Brian P. McCreary, of North Adams, at left wearing a blue mask while holding a cellphone, says that McCreary is sorry for his involvement in the events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 that shook the nation. McCreary has struck a plea deal with prosecutors who agreed to drop felony charges in exchange for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense. 

A North Adams man was arrested Thursday for being part of the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Brian P. McCreary, 33, of North Adams, was arrested without incident in Springfield.

In a statement given voluntarily to the FBI, McCreary said he was frustrated by the outcome of the presidential election and had traveled to Washington, D.C., where he listened to former President Donald Trump urge his supporters to take their grievances to the Capitol.

And so he did, according to authorities, joining a march from the White House, at times scurrying along side streets to get ahead of the growing crowd and arriving among the first rioters to reach and invade the Capitol building.

According to an FBI release, McCreary faces three counts of “Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds” and two counts of “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority.”

Efforts by The Eagle to reach McCreary by telephone and email on Thursday night were unsuccessful.

McCreary tried to paint himself as a peacekeeper during the riot, in an interview with the FBI conducted Jan. 26. While inside the Capitol, McCreary was captured in photos near a shirtless Arizona man wearing face paint and a hat with horns. According to the FBI, he confirmed that he was the person in the photo and said he’d gone to Washington, D.C., to attend the Trump rally.

The FBI provided this narrative of McCreary’s actions Jan. 6, based on his interview with authorities:

“Once inside the building, McCreary stated that he turned right twice when the group was confronted by a police officer. McCreary remained in the building for a while longer, following the crowd as they moved about the building.

“At some point thereafter, as McCreary was exiting the building, he was stopped by a police officer who asked if McCreary was a member of the press and ordered him to present identification. McCreary provided his driver’s license, stated he was not a member of the press and was ordered to leave the building.

“McCreary left the building and then admitted to re-entering the U.S. Capitol through a different door that was kicked in just moments before he re-entered. McCreary stated that when he was inside the U.S, Capitol building for the second time he was present when a woman was shot by a police officer after attempting to breach a door leading to the Senate floor.”

McCreary told the FBI that he left the Capitol soon after that.

“McCreary stated he directed people inside the building not to harm police officers or commit any acts of violence. McCreary further stated that he understood going into the building ‘might not have been legal’ but ‘he made a personal choice at that point,’” according to the FBI.

Days after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, McCreary was identified in a tweet as having been involved in the incident. That tweet was provided by someone who said McCreary was working as a Domino’s pizza delivery person.

Court papers said that after joining in the takeover of the building, McCreary told co-workers he “raided” the Capitol. The FBI said that four of McCreary’s work colleagues told the agency on Jan. 12 that he was the person in the photograph. They also said McCreary had spoken often of his belief that the election was not fairly conducted and that he didn’t accept President Joe Biden’s victory.

According to past coverage in The Eagle, McCreary has a business as a lighting and decor designer for events. His business, McZawa, appears to take its name from portions of his last name and the name of his wife, Zumi Ishizawa, based on biographical material on the business website. The business was registered with the state in September 2017.

In a blog post from last April connected with the McZawa corporate name, a man named Brian reflects on his disappointment over the two major party candidates for president.

“I will likely vote 3rd party (again); to weep silently alone at the march of peril we continue to face. Thank you for voting,” the post said. It goes on to urge people to wear face masks and to observe social distancing. “Please protect yourself. IF you can prevent catching it; you can slow it from spreading to those you care about.”

The charges McCreary faces do not include allegations that he joined in acts of violence. Still, he reportedly told authorities that he was nearby when a rioter was shot and that he went back into the Capitol after being instructed by security to leave.

McZawa’s website identifies the firm as a “full service audio visual production company that has been strategically based in North Adams.” The site says that McCreary — a lighting designer and programmer — and Ishizawa — an audio engineer — moved to the Berkshires from the New York City area after “falling in love” with the region when staging events here.

Also arrested Thursday was Kyle Fitzsimons, 37, of Lebanon, Maine, the FBI said. Authorities said Fitzsimons scuffled with police officers while trying to enter the Capitol.

Both Fitzsimons and McCreary face charges of entering a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct; Fitzsimons is also charged with assaulting a federal officer, according to court documents. It was unclear Thursday whether either man had an attorney.

Fitzsimons fought with officers and launched himself into police holding shields in an unsuccessful attempt to get inside, according to court documents. He suffered a gash on his head that needed stitches.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.