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Former Utahn attends rally in Washington D.C., says he understands why rioters got violent

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 23:10:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who recently moved from Utah attended President Donald Trump’s rally before the chaos in Washington DC. Despite a recent civil unrest arrest, he wishes he could have stood beside the rioters Wednesday.

Former North Ogden man Avery Hellstrom was among thousands of people who went to the nation’s capitol Wednesday during the scheduled electoral college certification.

"It was crazy. There were so many people."

Having moved in November, Hellstrom was arrested at previous Trump Rally on December 12. Police accuse him of breaking a police line and assaulting a police officer. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"I just say, 'how do guys effing go home and look yourself in the mirror knowing that you’re denying a simple citizen from going and exercising his first amendment right?'"

He claims he went to Wednesday's rally, not to incite violence, but to protest unfounded claims of election fraud. While he says he did not follow the crowd to the capitol, he understands how the rioters let their anger get the best of them.

“They are fed up and they feel like they aren’t being represented. They don’t think anything is getting better they don’t see anything getting better,” Hellstrom said.

Hellstrom’s name appears on a list of people arrested by Metro Police for civil unrest in Washington DC including those detained at the US Capitol Wednesday.

Metro Police are looking for several people who broke inside the capitol.