Charter boat owner who banned Democrats from his vessel charged with participating in Capitol insurrection

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — At Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach, Virginia, there’s a charter boat tied up at the dock. It’s owned and operated by Jake Hiles, who is now charged with participating in the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Hiles first gained notoriety last summer for a policy of not taking Democrats out on his boat.  

The charges include entering grounds without lawful authority, intent to impede government business, disorderly conduct and parading, demonstrating or picketing the Capitol buildings. 

The federal criminal complaint contains pictures of Hiles in the Capitol that he had posted to his Facebook account. He’s seen wearing a colored sweatshirt with the words “F—k Antifa.”

Documents say Hiles wrote on Facebook “Feelin cute… might start a revolution later. IDK.” with a location tag reading “in Capitol Hill.”

According to the criminal complaint, on January 6, Hiles posted around 1:10 p.m. stating, “After being tear gassed for an hour, we entered the capitol, thousands of us. The FBI shot and killed a woman in front of us. We followed the trail of her blood out of the building. Im going home. I watched the American government attack it’s [sic] own people today.”

Court documents reveal that later that evening, he took to Facebook again writing in part, “I’m not a smoker AT ALL, but when the cop asks you if you are gonna hit that, I ain’t gunna let it.” 

Paperwork says attached to this post was a “selfie” style video of Hiles inside the U.S. Capitol building with a group of people. Investigators say in the video, Hiles appears to smoke an unidentified substance.

In addition to court paperwork, research put together by George Washington University shows Hiles, among dozens of others, involved in federal and non-federal cases related to the Capitol Hill siege.

Hiles’ neighbor didn’t want to be identified by name, but says he’s not surprised by the arrest warrants based on Hiles past behavior.

“I think what they did in the Capitol, it was awful. These people think it’s rioting and protesting, but it was far worse. It was insurrection and take-over,” the neighbor said.

The criminal complaint also alleges Hiles posted more information about being in the Capitol after rioters came into contact with police.

When asked if he’s nervous about having Hiles in the neighborhood, the neighbor replied, “No. It doesn’t concern me all that much. I mean, I lived here four or five years, and he has been a decent neighbor. I can’t say anything. You wouldn’t know how he feels unless you saw the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag outside his house.”

That flag, also known as the Gadsden flag is on license plates of a car parked at the house and hanging outside the home.

“It’s a weird flag. It doesn’t make sense to me in this day and age. I don’t know what they are thinking on why they are using … this symbol. Who is treading on them … I mean, seriously treading on them?”

This neighbor doesn’t understand the anger that would lead to Hiles and thousands of others storming the Capitol. 

“I look around about how they say things are beginning to be taken away. What rights are being squandered? Where? I don’t see it,” the neighbor said.

Over the summer, Hiles gave a hint about his concerns about the government and the Democratic party with his policy to not take Democrats out on his private charter boat.   

“I have watched repeatedly as the Democratic party has tried to regulate my industry, business, and based on some interactions, I have had with customers this year, I decided I didn’t want to have Democrats on my boat anymore,” Hiles said at the time. “I’m true to myself and if that’s the way I have to be, then so be it.”

Hiles’ neighbor remembers that “no Democrats on board” story. 

“I remember [him] not allowing Democrats on his boat, and I think that type of mentality is bad. We are already divided. I don’t care who you vote for, what your personal opinions are. I’m not going to disparage you. I’m going to let you come to my business, and I would expect the same,” he said.  

When asked for comment, Hiles texted back immediately, “I cannot comment at this time.”

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