Prosecutors say Christopher Worrell of Florida came to the Capitol on January 6 armed with pepper spray, and later used it against a line of police officers who were guarding the complex. He was photographed near the Capitol wearing a tactical vest and a radio earpiece, assembled outside the building with other members of the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist organization.
He has been charged with five federal crimes: Engaging in violence on restricted grounds, knowingly entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct on restricted grounds, violent entry onto Capitol grounds, and obstructing Congressional proceedings. He hasn’t yet entered a plea.
Worrell appeared in federal court on Friday and was released by a federal judge in the Middle District of Florida. The Justice Department promptly appealed that decision and the chief judge of the federal court in Washington, DC, temporarily halted his release pending further review.
A lawyer listed in court records for Worrell didn’t answer CNN’s requests for comment.
When an FBI agent later asked Worrell about the group, Worrell said, “the Proud Boys were not a racist white supremacist group like the media tries to portray,” according to court documents.
Nearly 20 people affiliated with the Proud Boys have been charged in the Capitol riot, according to a CNN review of court documents. These include well-known leaders of the organization, people who participated in Proud Boys rallies, and others who donned Proud Boy’s insignia.