A Greenport High School graduate accused of firing pepper spray gel at law-enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot was arrested Friday at his home in East Naples, Florida.
Christopher John Worrell, 49, acknowledged in a Jan. 18 interview with the FBI that he was a member of the Proud Boys and that he was at the Capitol during the riot, according to court papers.
"The Proud Boys were not a racist white supremacist group like the media tries to portray," Worrell told the FBI agent, according to the papers.
Worrell’s attorney, Landon Miller of Naples, Florida, said authorities overcharged the defendant without providing supporting evidence.
"Mr. Worrell adamantly asserts that at no time did he pepper spray toward any law enforcement personnel nor intended to spray any law enforcement personnel," Miller said in a statement. "He also asserts that he went to Washington, D.C., and then the Capitol grounds at the direction of former President [Donald] Trump."
Authorities became aware of Worrell’s role in the riot after a tipster told the FBI that video posted on Worrell’s Facebook page showed the former Greenport resident participating in the riot by Trump supporters. That video has since been removed from public view, according to the FBI agent who interviewed the suspect.
Several photographs included in the court papers show Worrell, a 1990 graduate of Greenport High School, shooting pepper spray gel in the direction of police officers trying to protect the Capitol while the results of the 2020 presidential election were being certified by Congress.
Worrell made an initial appearance Friday in federal court in Fort Myers, Florida. A judge set his bail at $75,000, according to court records.