A June 23 article in the New York Post – labeled an “Opinion” piece to account for the author’s indignation – includes quotes and perspectives from Joseph Bolanos, the president of the 76th Street Park Block Association, who in February of this year was the subject of two FBI searches – one at his apartment on 76th between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, the other at his mother’s apartment in Washington Heights.
These searches were based on the belief that Bolanos may have had some level of involvement in the January 6 Capitol Riots; a belief which, according to the Post, was created by one of Bolanos’ neighbors, who called in a tip to tell authorities they heard Bolanos “‘boasting’ about being at the Capitol.”
Bolanos – who has not been charged since the raids took place – told the Post that he was in DC at the time, but only to attend former President Trump’s speech, and not to cause any harm or take part in any riot. He apparently has time-stamped photographs to prove that he was at a hotel when the riot took place.
Bolanos reportedly shared video evidence to validate his whereabouts to the FBI, telling them “he could provide more videos from a camera in his apartment.” He says they never followed up to see these additional videos, and instead prepared to conduct their second search, this one at his mother’s Washington Heights apartment.
“I opened the door and there’s about 10 tactical police soldiers and one is pointing a rifle at my head. [They had] a battering ram and a crowbar,” Bolanos told the Post.
“It’s destroyed my reputation,” he said of the headlines his neighbors caught soon after the searches were conducted. “I’m not a violent invader … I do not condone the criminality and violence on [Jan. 6] whatsoever.”
Bolanos, who made early pandemic headlines for dancing in the street to honor frontline workers, also told the Post he’s suffered two strokes as a result of the investigations, and that his phones which were confiscated by FBI officers have not been returned.