A 55-year-old Messianic rabbi and ex-lawyer was arrested Friday and charged with taking part in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Palm Harbor, Florida resident Michael Stepakoff was dobbed in by an unidentified friend of 20 years, according to a criminal complaint. In surveillance footage from Capitol insurrection, Stepakoff can be seen walking into the lobby among the crowd and taking photos.
Prosecutors allege Stepakoff shared a selfie and other photos from the Capitol on Jan. 6 on Facebook. “Epic and historical moment,” he wrote in the caption. According to the complaint, his wife posted on social media that same day, “Update on Michael, yall. Please continue to prayers for his protection and to be safe. He texted me privately and said he is okay but it’s very dangerous where he is- He was inside the Capitol Building.” Messianic Jews are not widely accepted as representative of Judaism due to their belief in some Christian traditions.