Northwest suburban woman charged with urging on rioters at U.S. Capitol

By Chicago 3 Min Read

A woman from Lake in the Hills has been charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot after Facebook posts showed her urging people on as they stormed through the doors, according to federal officials.

Nhi Ngoc Mai Le, 26, was arrested last week on charges of illegally entering a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct and “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building,” according to federal records.

The charges were filed after an anonymous tip to the FBI National Threat Operations Center alerted authorities to Le’s Facebook page. 

Le initially denied taking part in the breach of the U.S. Capitol as a joint session was affirming results of the 2020 presidential election, though she admitted attending a “Stop the Steal” rally hours earlier. She later admitted entering the Capitol after she was confronted with Facebook posts and text messages, federal officials said.

In one of the posts, Le talked about growing up in Vietnam where “patriots are beaten … It’s a very normal thing in a communist country. But now the same thing is happening in the United States of America, my second home and paradise,” according to a federal complaint charging Le. “Now I’m only contributing a small part, doing the least I can to save America.”

Earlier this week, a Hoffman Estates man pleaded guilty to grabbing the baton of an officer who was trying to clear rioters from the Capitol.

Tyng Jing Yang, 61, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of civil disorder. He had been arrested on Nov. 16, 2022.

Yang entered the Capitol building through the upper west terrace doors and made his way up a flight of stairs and into a lobby area outside of the rotunda, according to federal officials. He then entered the rotunda and posed for photos.

When law enforcement officers attempted to clear the crowd, Yang grabbed an officer’s baton. A sentencing date is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2024.

The attack by rioters caused about $2.8 million in damage to the Capitol and triggered what has been described as likely the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history. 

More than 1,100 people have been arrested in connection with the attack in almost all 50 states. That includes Illinois, where more than 40 residents have been charged. They come from all around the state and include a former CEO, a Chicago police officer and a member of the Proud Boys.

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