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A suspected Bay area Capitol rioter says he fought off hogs, snakes to get asylum in Belarus - SFGate

Supporters of then-President Donald Trump clash with U.S. Capitol police on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

A Bay Area man who faces assault charges following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots has fled to the eastern European country of Belarus, where he is now reportedly seeking asylum. 

Evan Neumann, a 48-year-old who resided in Mill Valley and operated a handbag business up until earlier this year, hopped onto Belarusian state television for an interview released Sunday in which he said that he fled the United States in March and traveled through Italy and Switzerland for “a business trip” before eventually landing in Ukraine.

Neumann is one of the hundreds of Americans charged in a federal criminal complaint for the Jan. 6 riots. He reportedly can be seen in body camera footage punching two officers and hitting them with a metal barricade. He allegedly told officers, according to court documents, “I’m willing to die, are you?” 

“I do not believe that I have committed any crime. One of the charges was very offensive,” Neumann said, according to a loose translation of his interview, which was dubbed over in Russian. “It is alleged that I hit a police officer. There is no reason for this.”

KGO reported in July that he sold his Mill Valley house in April for $1.3 million, following the complaint.

Neumann says in the interview that after four months of residing in Ukraine, he was surveilled by the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, and claimed he was facing “political persecution” by Ukrainian officials.

He allegedly traversed deep forests and swamps and fended off wild hogs and snakes, reported Vice, before arriving in Belarus and seeking asylum. Belarus does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

Neumann also reiterated the widely debunked “false flag” narrative in his interview, falsely claiming that the U.S. government has “been creating” situations like this for decades.

The full interview will be made available Wednesday, according to the outlet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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