A Marin County man accused of punching two officers during the Trump Capitol insurrection has run off to Belarus to avoid the charges, complaining of “political persecution.”
There are a few Bay Area people who were at the January 6 Capitol insurrection, but there’s one fewer now, because one of them has apparently bolted the country in hopes of avoiding his felony charges. BuzzFeed describes 48-year-old Evan Neumann as “a handbag manufacturer from Mill Valley,” and as seen in the photo above, he’s been charged by the Justice Department with six counts, including a felony count of assaulting officers. Now KPIX has the news that he’s fled the country and seeking asylum in Belarus.
We know this because he went on Belarus state television, though their report is entirely in some sort of Slavic language. But according to KPIX, he said the charges were "wholly without merit,” and he claims he’s the target of “political persecution.”
If we are to believe Neumann’s version of events, he says he’s has quite a ride since he learned in March that the feds were charging him. “He said he flew to the EU in March under the guise of a business trip and then traveled to Switzerland by train,” according to BuzzFeed. “From there, he said he drove to Germany and onward to Poland. He then crossed into Ukraine and settled in central Zhytomyr in mid-March. He rented an apartment there for four months, he said, before he decided to flee that country, as well.”
He claims he was also being tracked by government authorities in Ukraine. “I wouldn’t dare ask for asylum until the (Security Service of Ukraine) started following me in Ukraine, two weeks later. It’s horrible,” he told the station Belarus 1, according to KPIX. “And this is a level that I can’t do anything about.”
The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Belarus, so who knows, maybe Neumann will get away with this, and he’s Belarus' problem now. According to Buzzfeed, only three of the 650-plus people who've been charged in the insurrection have evaded arrest or failed to show up in court.
Interestingly, KGO reported in July that Neumann sold his house shortly after discovering he was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The buyer told KGO "There was pressure to close. The last we heard is [Neumann] was in Ukraine."
When asked how he discovered this, the buyer said, "The real estate agent."
Related: SF Proud Boy the Latest Charged by FBI for Storming the Capitol [SFist]
Image: Department of Justice