It looked like any other patriotic photograph that families of tourists have taken in front of one of the most iconic U.S. monuments: a mother and a son snapping a selfie in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln at his memorial.
The mother appeared to have an American flag draped around her neck, but her son with a signature hat and flannel shirt had particular interest to the FBI. Prosecutors say the son’s clothing led them to another felony suspect in the sprawling docket of hundreds of accused Jan. 6 rioters.
In an eight-page affidavit unsealed on Thursday, the FBI described how the photograph led them to interview the mother of Michigan man Luke Michael Lints about her son’s alleged activities at the U.S. Capitol that day.
“Lints’ mother stated that on January 6, 2021, she had a medical episode while walking along Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, and had to take an ambulance to the hospital,” the affidavit states. “Lints’ mother stated that she was unsure what Lints did while she was hospitalized, but on the way back to Michigan, Lints’ mother stated that Lints appeared scared because of what he had done at the Capitol, and would not talk about it with her.”
Prosecutors say that Lints took part in the violence in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, particularly the section known as the “tunnel.”
“Lints can be seen holding a police shield and pushing back against police officers,” the FBI’s affidavit says. “At one point, Lints uses the riot shield to prevent a law enforcement officer from closing a door to protect himself from the rioters.”
The FBI says that Lints was also seen just outside the tunnel as rioters assaulted a Metropolitan Police Department officer.
After the Jan. 6 attack, the FBI disseminated a “Be On the Lookout” on scores of suspects, including Lints. Online sleuths began to dub him #BlackGreyFlannel, the same outfit that Lints wore with his mother at the Lincoln Memorial. The FBI says that it also recognized his hat with the distinctive “PV” on it.
“The FBI located a known image of LINTS from the Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles which showed LINTS most current driver’s license photograph dated May 2021,” the affidavit says. “The FBI compared the driver’s license photograph to the images of BOLO 261-AFO and believed them to be the same individual.”
Lints, a 27-year-old from Traverse City, faces a felony charge of civil disorder, along with misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings, and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Lints is among the growing list of more than 800 people arrested for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. He is not specifically charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, unlike more than 250 others facing such accusations to date.
Read the FBI’s affidavit, below:
(Photos via DOJ)
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