Kerry Wayne Persick is the latest North Texan to be arrested in relation to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Now, he may also be in the market for new friends.
On Monday, the 41-year-old Denton County resident was arrested after someone he’d known for around 20 years identified him to the FBI, according to court documents.
Persick turned himself in at the Fort Worth federal courthouse and was released following his initial hearing, FBI Dallas spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said by email.
Footage from both inside and outside the Capitol showed a man identified as Persick wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, according to court documents. He also sports a brown beard, dark jacket and backpack.
In early March, a confidential witness told the FBI that someone had texted them a photo of Persick on the day of the insurrection. In it, a smiling Persick is wearing sunglasses and stands in front of a crowd.
The witness also received a short video that Persick had allegedly recorded from inside the Capitol building. Persick did not record himself in the video but filmed a line of people walking toward the Capitol’s rotunda.
The confidential witness first identified Persick via the FBI’s online tip portal within hours of the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Although they knew Persick for about two decades, the witness said they last saw him around a year ago.
So far, 23 Texans have been arrested by the FBI’s Dallas division, which stretches across the state’s top half. The previous two arrests include a Cooke County GOP precinct chair and his wife.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 under the false belief the 2020 election was rigged against Trump. Some insurrectionists damaged and looted Capitol property, and others chanted that they intended to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Around 440 people have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol insurrection within the first 120 days after Jan. 6, according to the Justice Department. That total includes more than 125 suspects who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Persick is accused of violent entry, entering a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to NBC-DFW. Persick was released “under certain conditions,” such as refraining from communicating with other alleged insurrectionists.
A call to Persick’s attorney Joey Mongaras was not returned by publication time, but he told NBC-DFW that his client maintains his innocence.
Attorney Guy L. Womack, who represents alleged Capitol rioter Jenna Ryan, told the Observer last week that the government could have difficulty prosecuting some of these cases. Womack expects that in the coming months, additional evidence will show that Capitol police removed barriers and allowed protesters to enter the building.
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