FBI arrests area native

Social media posts depict involvement with Capitol riot

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 1/20/21

NEWBURGH, NY — Early in the morning of January 6, Edward Jake Lang, a former Sullivan County resident and Honesdale High School student, posted to Facebook a video of himself riding in a car, …

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FBI arrests area native

Social media posts depict involvement with Capitol riot

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NEWBURGH, NY — Early in the morning of January 6, Edward Jake Lang, a former Sullivan County resident and Honesdale High School student, posted to Facebook a video of himself riding in a car, with a caption implying that he was bound for Washington, D.C.

“MAGA morning,” he said into the camera before chanting, “It ain’t over yet.”

The same post contained a video of President Donald Trump superimposed in front of a body of water with a crouched lion as his reflection.

In the hours, and days, that followed, Lang went on to post numerous other pictures and videos, documenting his participation in the pro-Trump demonstration that led to the storming of the Capitol building.

The posts did not go unnoticed. On January 16, the FBI’s New York office announced that Lang had been taken into custody for his alleged role in the Capitol siege. Lang, 25, son of Sari Lang of West Palm Beach, FL and former Town of Tusten Board member Ned Lang, was arrested at his residence in Newburgh, NY.

“Decisions have consequences. Edward Lang is in custody for the ones he made during the assault on our Capitol,” Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney wrote in a statement. “We will continue to track down and hold accountable those who attempt to violently subvert [the Constitution].”

According to the affidavit in support of criminal complaint, filed by special agent LaNard Taylor, Lang has been accused of four violations: assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; civil disorder; [entering] restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

On his Instagram account, @realjakelang, which is no longer available, Lang posted several photos of himself in Washington, D.C. among the crowd assembled outside of the Capitol. He also posted a video of himself, face bloodied, saying, “I ain’t done yet,” into the camera. The camera then pans to the Capitol building’s front steps where the crowd appears to be engaged in a violent standoff with authorities.

In another social media post, Lang describes watching “a woman die in front of” his eyes and accuses the Capitol City Police of murder.

“This is an act of war by tyrants against the American people,” Lang wrote. “This is only the beginning.”

Other screenshotted posts show Lang much closer to the entrance to the Capitol in the thick of the chaotic scene. According to Taylor’s criminal complaint, before making an arrest, the FBI gathered information about Lang from an unnamed childhood acquaintance.

“[The witness] met Lang when they were children and has maintained a social media connection with him in excess of 10 years,” Taylor wrote. “[The witness]
provided photographs and video of Lang actively participating in the attack on the Capitol.”  

Lang made no effort to conceal his participation in the events that took place. Many of the photographs included in the criminal complaint were taken from Lang’s own social media pages. And in one Facebook post, he directly challenged law enforcement: 

“Arrest me. You are on the wrong side of history,” he captioned a video.

Photographs and videos posted by Lang and others also appear to show him at the entrance of the Capitol, clashing with law enforcement. Lang posted one such video and identified himself at the head of the crowd, editing the words “this is me” onto the footage. Another shows “an individual consistent in appearance with Lang” with a baseball bat.

“In the video, Lang swung, thrusted, and/or jabbed the bat at law enforcement officers multiple times,” Taylor wrote. “In doing so, Lang struck at least the shields the officers held in front of them. As the video progresses, others in the crowd assist in the attack, with some throwing items and one individual spraying the officers with a fire extinguisher.”

According to a statement emailed to River Reporter by Ned Lang, his father, “Jake has had a substance abuse problem. As a result, he has had numerous issues with law enforcement over the past 11 years and it has only gotten worse, as is evidenced by his most recent arrest and actions at our nation’s Capitol! We are praying for my son that he conquers his addictions and finds a new path forward in his life!” 

At press time, Lang was expected to appear in federal court in Westchester County via teleconference on January 19.

Though an active user of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Lang has apparently been trying to get a social media platform of his own off the ground called Liberty Centric. It’s advertised as a platform for “free thinkers” and promises no fact-checkers or censorship.

In posts on that platform and others, Lang describes himself as a patriot.

“I want to use this time to say thank you for all the people that have been reaching out, calling me a patriot,” he said in an Instagram post on January 14. “Been really amazing to have this impact on the community. Going to keep on fighting for you guys. We got some big things planned. We are not going to let them take our constitutional liberties. Our God-given rights are safe within the hearts of the patriots. So we won’t give up. You guys should not give up. Contact me if you want to be a part of the patriot movement.”

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