A 41 year-old Palmyra man is the second Lebanon County resident facing federal criminal charges in connection with the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while Congress was meeting to certify the results of the November, 2020 presidential election.
Leo Brent Bozell IV, who prosecutors say was caught on C-SPAN video on the Senate floor while wearing a Hershey Christian Academy sweatshirt, has been charged with obstructing an official proceeding, unlawfully entering restricted buildings and grounds, and disorderly conduct.
The charges were brought in a sealed Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant filed on Feb. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. They were made public on Feb. 16, suggesting that Bozell has been arrested.
Standard procedure in federal criminal cases is to hold defendants in jail until a detention hearing is held, after which they may be released pending trial or continued in custody. No date for such a hearing had been set by publication time.
According to a published report, Bozell is the son of conservative activist Brent Bozell III, and a grandson of Brent Bozell, Jr., who was a speechwriter for the 1950s Wisconsin communist-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy and a ghostwriter for 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Bozell IV is also the great-nephew of conservative pioneer and National Review magazine founder William F. Buckley.
The man prosecutors say is Bozell was shown on Capitol siege video and still photos, and described by numerous social media posters, as wearing what appeared to be a Hershey Christian Academy logo sweatshirt while standing in the Senate chambers. In her Affidavit outlining the basis for the charges, FBI Special Agent Lynda Thomas attached tweets of what appears to be the same man wearing the same sweatshirt.
Special Agent Thomas also said in the complaint that an unidentified witness, one of three who came forward with suspicions about Bozell, “was immediately able to positively identify the individual walking out of the U.S . Capitol Building as Bozell,” and that that witness “was affiliated with the same school that Bozell’s children attended and had multiple interactions with Bozell prior to January 6.”
According to the complaint, another witness allegedly told the FBI that Bozell is known as “Zeek” or “Zeeker” and that he had been the girls’ basketball coach at a school the FBI referred to as “Named School 1 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.”
The FBI made no indications regarding the identity of “Named School 1” or whether that was also the school through which the witness had come to know Bozell.
Hershey Christian Academy posted a statement on its Facebook page denying that Bozell has ever been employed at the school.
The statement reads, in part, “[o]ur original public statement addressed that Mr. Bozell was not a member of the staff, board, nor a representative of the school. He also has never been a coach at Hershey Christian Academy. We are a school that started for the 2019/2020 school year and have yet to initiate a sports program of any kind.”
The statement goes on to say “[w]e were not aware of Mr. Bozell’s actions at the Capitol building until it became public knowledge on January 14, 2021. His actions have caused immense grief and an overwhelming sense of concern within our community; this including harassment of the school faculty, staff, and community as a whole.”
Following up a reader tip received after our initial report was published, on Wednesday afternoon LebTown contacted the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, which confirmed that Bozell “served as volunteer CYO basketball coach for St. Joan of Arc [School in Hershey] in 2019.”
“His alleged actions at our Nation’s Capitol last month in no way reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said a diocese spokesperson. “We extend our prayers to all those injured and to the families of those who lost their lives.”
If he is convicted of obstructing an official proceeding, Bozell could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. A conviction of unlawfully entering restricted buildings and grounds, if the entry resulted in significant bodily injury, could result in up to 10 years in prison.
Other Lebanon County residents charged by federal prosecutors with participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion or wanting to harm U.S. senators due to the presidential election outcome are Terry Brown and Kenelm Shirk.
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This article was updated to clarify that the FBI did not attribute any mention of Hershey Christian Academy to the unnamed witness, and that Bozell has been confirmed as a former volunteer of another Hershey area school.