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Local substitute teacher arrested by FBI-Pittsburgh in connection to U.S. Capitol riot

GLENSHAW, Pa. — A Glenshaw man was arrested Friday morning by the FBI-Pittsburgh on federal charges related to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, authorities said.

Robert Morss, who was a substitute teacher in the Shaler Area School District, was identified through video and photos, some of which were taken near the National Monument before the Capitol was stormed.

Morss appeared via video Friday afternoon for a federal court hearing and waived future court dates to the federal district of Washington, D.C.

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A video allegedly shows Morss “near the frontline of rioters who pushed past police guarding the Capitol, organizing a shield wall in the violent attack on officers inside the Lower West Terrace tunnel, and entering into the Capitol through a broken window,” a criminal complaint stated.

At one point while trying to push through a fence outside the Capitol, Morss was seen grabbing an officer’s baton and trying to rip it away, according to the complaint. He later yelled into the crowd, telling people to pass up police riot shields to create a shield wall.

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Sonny DeMasi, who is graduating from Shaler, was shocked by what he saw.

“Seeing him in full military uniform with weapons, that was a little concerning considering he was at our high school teaching,” said DeMasi.

Investigators said the broken window Morss climbed through led to a hideaway office for members of Congress, though it “was not specifically assigned to anyone” on that day.

Morss is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees, as well as civil disorder, robbery of personal property of the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding.

“It made sense because I could tell he was super passionate about politics and what he personally believed in,” DeMasi said.