A Greenport High School graduate, who federal investigators have alleged is a member of the Proud Boys extremist group, was arrested Friday for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Christopher John Worrell, 49, of Naples, Fla. is accused of spraying pepper spray during the riot, likely in the direction of law enforcement guarding the west side of the capitol, according to a sworn affidavit filed by a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The investigator said Mr. Worrell admitted to being at the Capitol that afternoon when interviewed at his home on Jan. 18, but he denied entering the Capitol building or “any other wrongdoing or criminal conduct on his part.”
“He also became agitated when asked about the Proud Boys,” the agent said in the affidavit. “Worrell stated that ‘the Proud Boys were
not a racist white supremacist group like the media tries to portray.’”
The FBI was made aware of Mr. Worrell’s presence at the Capitol through a tip it received on Jan. 13, court records show. The subsequent investigation including viewing photographs and videos from the riot, including at least nine that were included in court records and appear to show Mr. Worrell participating in the riot.
A series of those photographs show Mr. Worrell, a 1990 graduate of Greenport High School, spraying pepper spray. The FBI agent who interviewed him said other photographs suggest the likely target of the spraying was law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit.
Other photographs and video images included in the court filing show Mr. Worrell wearing Proud Boys clothing and flashing hand signs associated with White Supremacy.
Mr. Worrell made an initial court appearance in federal courthouse in Fort Myers, Fla., according to the Washington Post. He’s facing charges of engaging in violence on restricted grounds, knowingly entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct on restricted grounds, violent entry onto Capitol grounds, and obstructing Congressional proceedings.
Mr. Worrell was previously arrested in 2009 for impersonating a police officer in an incident that involved a 23-year-old woman who he followed for allegedly running a red light. He was found with guns, ammunition, handcuffs and knives in that incident, according to a Collier County Sheriff’s Office press release.