Two Members of Civil Air Patrol Arrested for Roles in Capitol Riot

North Carolina Wing
CAP Group 1 Commander Major Jim Fitzpatrick congratulates Elliot Bishai, a cadet of Gastonia Composite Squadron of North Carolina Wing.

By John Bowden | The Hill

[Editor’s Note: We received this contribution in our inbox. Thank you for your contribution.]

To AB editors, See link [redacted]. The Civil Air Patrol is primarily funded through Congress but two CAP cadet officers were actively engaged in the destruction of Capitol property and were a potential threat to lawmakers nearby. It is time for Congress to pass a legislation bill to defund this “Trump-like” organization and use the CAP taxpayer funds for social justice programs to better groom the youth.

Two men from North Carolina [Wing] who volunteer in the [Gastonia Composite Squadron] Civil Air Patrol were charged this week with unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, which led to the deaths of a Capitol Police officer and four other people.

The Post and Courier reported that [CAP Cadets] Elliot Bishai and Elias Irizarry appeared at a federal court in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday and were released on $25,000 bond. Irizarry is a student at The Citadel, according to the newspaper, and both men planned to enter the military.

Their identities were reportedly gleaned by FBI agents from a tip sent in by an unnamed person who knew the two from their membership in the Gastonia Civil Air Patrol. They are charged with illegal entry, disorderly conduct in a restricted area and violent entry into the U.S. Capitol, according to a local news affiliate.

The Hill has reached out to the national headquarters of the Civil Air Patrol for comment.

Family members told the newspaper that the two men were being unfairly lumped in with the worst elements of the Capitol siege. Dozens of police officers suffered grievous injuries during the riot, including one who lost an eye, while two other officers died by suicide in the days immediately following the attack.

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According to ABC, [CAP Cadet] Irizarry was arrested by FBI agents on March 15, on charges of:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,
  • Knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted buildings or grounds,
  • And violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
  • A hearing in Washington D.C. is set for March 22.
North Carolina Wing

Civil Air Patrol Cadets Elliot Bishai and Elias Irizarry wearing MAGA hats with one holding a steel rod.

5 Comments on "Two Members of Civil Air Patrol Arrested for Roles in Capitol Riot"

  1. Diogenesgs | May 26, 2021 at 04:15 | Reply

    I don’t know why this would be any sort of surprise to anyone. A cursory skim of the social media presence of members of anywhere within the organizational strata would reveal all sorts of memes, shared articles and posts, and original material advocating far-right ideology and/or violence against “liberals.” This was also not uncommon on various CAP-related message boards as well. The members who have been called out are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.

  2. I don’t claim to understand everything that’s gone on or is going on. I’ve been a CAP Member for far too long to understand why I still receive a yearly renewal membership notice. If that’s an indicator of the shoddy and potentially shady bookkeeping going on, then there’s a problem.

    I do know, and it’s been my experience, that there’s always a problem with entrenched leadership in any organization. Whether it be a school board, a city council, the CAP or our Congress, the longer someone’s in a position, the more questions of inappropriateness arise.

    I’ve been a member for nearly 50 years. I’ve trusted the leadership to do the right thing. To spend our hard earned dues and donations responsibly. Now, I find they’ve abused that trust, and I’m unsure who to trust. How and why, was it allowed to get this bad?

    I’m pissed as hell, that the entire membership is being painted with the brush that the perfidy of a few greedy, self serving individuals has dipped into. I’m pissed at the Air Force, but I’m even more pissed at those who stood by and did nothing to prevent the situation from getting this bad.

    We’ve been betrayed, by those we entrusted. I’m more pissed at myself, for trusting them to begin with.

  3. Effective change in any organization doesn’t start at the bottom. It starts at the top.

    In the military, when there is a huge leadership failure that leads to deaths or major equipment loss……do they start at the bottom? Nope. They start at the top. Because that’s were the problems originate from….whether bad leadership or ineffective leadership.

    You want to see change in an organization? Replace the ineffective leaders all the way down the chain starting at the top.

    Ever see a large organization (even private businesses) change? Where did it start? Yep…..they got rid of the showboats, corrupt, favorites and poorly trained upper management and started fresh. That’s how you change an organization. Those at the bottom can have small effects on change, but if you want real change you have to attack the top.

    Look at many of the large SAR agencies nationwide. They are “led” by ineffective and usually affirmative action hires. And then, they don’t even really run the organization. The agencies are run by the power brokers who typically are pandering morons even more stupid and ineffective than the local EMA Director. That lowly officer on the bottom of the ladder can’t do much to change an organization.

    Hopefully, that CAP officer sticks around, learns and gets more training, then promotes and eventually starts making a difference. The problem today is, CAP officers aren’t sticking around any more to promote. They are leaving and taking their knowledge with them.

    In the past decade and the present, there are far better agencies that can do the SAR missions much better, have highly qualified people that are more efficient at less cost. I think Congress may soon come to reality that this relic needs to be shelved.

  4. Truth teller | March 19, 2021 at 23:23 | Reply

    It should be noted that neither of these cadets are on the CAP rolls anymore. I would therefore say that they have been expunged and their membership revoked.

    • I think suspension would have been a more appropriate action pending the outcome of the trial rather than being quickly judged and terminated. Alleged adult molesters in the CAP have gotten better treatment than this condemnation.

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