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Grand Rapids man attends Wednesday's U.S. Capitol riot

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 22:47:06-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man says he helped dozens of people climb over a wall to the U.S. Capitol during Wednesday’s riot.

“Frankly, I was hoping the representatives would feel some fear because fear is not always bad,” said Mark Petzold. “They needed to know it’s serious.”

Petzold says he travelled to Washington D.C. last week with four other people from West Michigan. Petzold says he was protesting a “decline in representative government” and alleged voter fraud.

“I’ve just seen failure after failure after failure,” said Petzold.

Election officials, including former Attorney General William Barr, have said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Wednesday’s riot forced legislators into lockdown and destroyed the building.

According to Petzold, he never went into the Capitol, but says he helped about 50-75 people climb over a wall that separates people from the steps of it.

It’s not known if any of the people Petzold helped went into the Capitol.

“The people that were going over the wall were desperate to be heard and they’re willing to put their lives on the line to be heard,” said Petzold.

Petzold says he did not know what was going on inside the Capitol at the time.

“For my part, I was actually kind of happy that they had gotten in there,” said Petzold. “Now listen, I’m not for destroying property, I’m not for stealing anything, it’s a place where there should be a degree of reverence, there was bad behavior, I’m sure of it, but ultimately at the end of the day, that speaker seat has been used over and over and over and over to break the purpose of government which is to protect our god given right to life, liberty, and property.”

Five people died as a result of the attack, including a police officer.

Petzold says he’s sorry about that but feels at the end of the day, he was actually protecting more lives.

“Freedom isn’t free,” said Petzold. “It comes with a price and it’s not always clean and pristine. It’s sometimes ugly.”