SANTA ANA, California – A Southern California man has been arrested after being accused of joining the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol while trying to emulate a media member.
Matthew Thomas Purse, 45, was arrested in Irvine on Friday on federal charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive behavior in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parade, demonstrating or stabbing in a Capitol building, the Orange County Register reported.
The purse was photographed inside the Capitol wearing a tactical vest and black helmet marked with the word “press”
When The Associated Press reached Saturday, Purse said he was in the building as “part of a legitimate news organization.” He declined to name the news organization, saying he had been subjected to violent threats.
“The record shows I was not there in any illegal capacity,” Purse said.
Video footage shows the purse entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 through the east side of the building, carrying a long black rod with what appears to be a recording device at the end, and continuing to the Rotunda, according to court documents.
Purse was identified by a confidential source who saw him on a livestream video, according to the FBI.