Courts

‘Ready to Die’: Dallas Actor Charged Over Alleged Involvement in U.S. Capitol Riot

Rioters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6
Rioters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 Brent Stirton/Getty Images
At the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, actor Luke Coffee apparently came dressed for the part, wearing a brown cowboy hat, a camouflage jacket and a blue bandana, but he later had mixed feelings about it all.

Coffee, 41, allegedly beat a police officer with a crutch during the insurrection, after which he said that he had been “ready to die” that day. But he later blamed it on anti-fascists, insisting the whole gathering was an “antifa false flag,” according to recently unsealed court documents.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the criminal complaint says federal authorities identified Coffee with the help of his acquaintances and his former college classmate who “happens to be a Special Agent with the FBI.”

Surrendering to authorities in Dallas on Thursday, Coffee became one of at least 13 North Texans nabbed by the feds for alleged involvement in the riot.


During the unrest, supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, hoping to prevent the certification of the November 2020 presidential election results. By the time the dust cleared, at least five people had died.

Coffee’s facing a slew of charges, including assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and interfering with a law enforcement officer during civil disorder.

Speaking by telephone, the FBI's Dallas field office spokesperson Melinda Urbina confirmed that Coffee had turned himself in.

“We're still getting new information every day,” Urbina told the Observer. “It's still a very active investigation, and we continue to work to identify all the people in these images to see if there's a North Texas connection.”

“We're still getting new information every day." - Melinda Urbina, FBI field office in Dallas

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Coffee is a small-time actor and Dallas resident. His IMDB profile says he graduated from Baylor University, moved west to Hollywood and played small roles in television shows like Friday Night Lights and Language of a Broken Heart.


According to the Dallas news site Central Track, he’s also a diehard Trump supporter with an affinity for conspiracy theories. Take, for instance, the claim that he had helped Trump blow up secret subways used to traffic children.

Central Track documented several of Coffee’s now-deleted Facebook videos, including those posted leading up to and right after the Capitol riot.

“Cue the storm baby Q storm,” he said in a video posted the night before the riot, referring to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

In another video posted after the riot, he said he was "ready to die" during the unrest. "We thought we were, we were totally gassed,” he said. “And I literally thought I was getting gassed to death like I was in Nazi Germany, a Jew getting gassed to death. OK.”

In other videos, Coffee has complained of a supposed New World Order led by a global cabal of powerful elites dead set on “deceiv[ing] the world,” Central Track reported in early February.

Authorities have charged more than 275 people for allegedly participating in the riot. The pro-Trump mob allegedly included members of groups like the Oath Keepers militia and the Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist outfit in the past involved in violence from New York to Portland.

Other North Texans charged in relation to the riot include Burleson’s Nicholas DeCarlo, Frisco Realtor Jenna Ryan and Grapevine resident Larry Brock, among others.

According to Heidi Beirich, an expert on the far right and co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism watchdog, the Capitol riot was a "miscalculation" for Trump supporters who didn't "understand how Americans would see the assault.

“It’s simply led to more Americans being aware of these movements and their danger—and, of course, it did nothing to affect the election results," Beirich told the Observer
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Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.