Local barber and political leader Mario Innocenzi posted LIVE online from Washington, D.C.
He’d gone there with a group from Northeast Ohio to support the president. That rally then erupted into mobs charging the Capitol.
A couple of comments caught on camera caught our attention. One of them appears to be Innocenzi saying, long before the trouble started, “I say we just rush the Capitol.”
So, the I-Team asked him, why would he say something like that?
“I don’t recall saying anything like that, Ed,” he told us. “If I did, it was in the heat of the moment, but I don’t recall saying anything like that.”
Innocenzi tells us he would never rush the Capitol. Besides, he walked that day with a bunch of older folks. But, we also asked about what someone nearby could be heard saying 25 seconds after the comment about rushing the Capitol.
A voice can be heard saying, “Start assassinating people.” Then, a voice that appears to be Innocenzi says, “Right.”
He told the I-Team, he didn’t endorse a comment like that. He said, “No, I would never say that. I do not condone violence in any shape or fashion.”
He added, he doesn’t remember hearing anyone mention assassinating anyone, and his group never got involved in the chaos.
He said, “I have no ill-will toward Democrats, Republicans, Black, white, purple, green, I don’t care who you are.”
The group from Northeast Ohio also included Skip Claypool, a Chester Township Trustee.
The I-TEAM also contacted Claypool. Did he hear any of those comments heard on the video? He told us he did not.
He didn’t want to answer questions. But, he wasted no time accusing news reporters of what he calls ‘sensationalizing’ everything.
At one point on the video, you hear Innocenzi start to capture the beginning of trouble. He can be heard saying, “Now, they’re shooting fireworks at the Capitol. Not cool.”
The Feds have said they will investigate everyone with anything to do with what happened in D.C.
I-Team reporter Tom Meyer has learned the comments on Innocenzi’s video have been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Cleveland. That office will not confirm or deny any possible investigation.
Innocenzi says he’s not worried about anything with his video. In fact, he says anonymous callers have made threats against him just for taking part in that rally.
Innocenzi is active in the Geauga County Republican Party. He runs a barbershop in Parma. And, he’s made local headlines for frequently collecting donations to help storm victims around the country.
“I’m a God-fearing, country-loving, American,” he said.
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