A Texas real estate agent who took a private jet to the Capitol last week and called it “one best days of my life” was charged Friday for participating in the violent insurrection.
Jenna Ryan, a Frisco, Texas real estate broker and life coach, has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds after documenting her two-day excursion to D.C. on social media.
She was among yet another handful of rioters rounded up by the feds on Friday, including a former Latin Kings gangster, a Kentucky man who claimed a cop told him “It’s your house now,” and Dominic “Spazzo” Pezzola, a Proud Boys member who allegedly smashed a window to the Capitol with a police shield.
Ryan went on a PR offensive after the riot, telling Spectrum News that she “answered the call of my president” and proudly stormed the Capitol because the election was rigged. “It’s not necessarily about taking over the Capitol, it’s about, ‘We the people own this building,’” she said.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Ryan diligently documented her participation in the mob—starting from her flight on a “small private aircraft” on Jan. 5.
The next day, she posted a bathroom mirror selfie on Facebook with the caption: “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol. They’re down there right now and that’s why we came and so that’s what we are going to do. So wish me luck.” She added: “This is a prelude going to war.”
In a since-deleted video, she filmed herself going into the Capitol through the Rotunda. She walked past broken windows, up some stairs, and said, “We are going to fucking go in here. Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.”
Then, she turned to the camera and added, “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.”
By the time Ryan made it to the door of a building “clearly desecrated, with broken glass windows shattered, and security alarms sounding,” she yelled “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!,” the complaint says.
She also took a photo of herself in front of a broken window with the caption, “Window at The capital [sic]. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next...’”
Hours later, Ryan posted on Twitter: “We just stormed the Capital. It was one of the best days of my life.”
But, as backlash to her antics grew in the Lone Star State, she gave multiple interviews and flooded her social media with posts defending herself and saying she was “truly heartbroken for the people who have lost their lives.”
Then, in a Thursday interview with CandysDirt.com, Ryan said she and her fellow rioters didn’t care that someone was shot because “our freedom is more important to us than our lives.”
Ryan dug in further on Twitter, retweeting election conspiracies and offering to provide real estate services if Texas secedes from the Union.
“Can’t face federal charges for exercising my right to freedom of speech and assembly,” she wrote last week, adding that she was “an innocent person who is not a professional rioter.”
“You can never cancel Jenna Ryan,” she wrote. However, by Monday, she said her publisher had canceled her self help book that was due out next month.
National Association of Realtors President Charlie Oppler issued a statement condemning her.
“America’s largest trade association stands with our democracy and our nation’s centuries-old observance of peaceful protests and the peaceful transfer of power. What happened today at the U.S. Capitol was an assault on both,” it said.
Matthew Bledsoe, a Memphis, Tennessee resident, was also charged Friday after posting selfies and a “video compilation” from the Capitol on his Instagram.
Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that he filmed a video saying, “In the Capitol. This is our house. We pay for this shit. Where’s those pieces of shit at?” In a since-deleted Facebook post, his wife wrote: “Matt was inside the Capitol, he was one of the first…my husband is a Patriot soldier.”
Kash Lee Kelly, a 32-year-old former Latin Kings gangster from Indiana, was arrested Friday after he attended the riot while awaiting sentencing on federal drug charges. He posted multiple photos of himself scaling walls and posing with a monument, a criminal complaint says.
His bond in the drugs case has since been revoked. During a court hearing about the bond, Kelly pleaded with Trump to “help your boy out.” “That's all I can say. I am asking the President of the United State, alright. I helped out in a big way in this election, you feel me? So if you can help me out that would be great, you know,” he said, according to WBBM.
A Sullivan, Missouri woman, identified by the FBI as Emily Hernandez, was charged Friday after being outed by at least three tipsters whose identification of her was backed up by a high school friend, a federal complaint says.
They spotted Hernandez in footage captured by British news outlet ITV, “streaming in and out” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. According to screenshots included in the charging papers, Hernandez was seen holding a shard of a wooden nameplate from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Jacob Hiles was also charged Friday after he allegedly stormed the Capitol in a sweatshirt emblazoned with “FUCK ANTIFA.”
“Feelin’ cute...might start a revolution later, IDK – in Capitol Hill,” Hiles wrote on Facebook hours before the insurrection, along with a photo of himself, according to a criminal complaint. At 1:30 p.m., he wrote on Facebook: “After being tear-gassed for an hour, we entered the capitol, thousands of us. The fbi shot and killed a woman in front of us. We followed the trail of her blood out of the building.”
Hiles seemed to be referring to Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, one of five people who died during the riot. Prosecutors said Hiles appeared to be smoking inside the Capitol, too.
A Kentucky man was also arrested Friday after attending the riot with his wife and cousin, admitting to investigators that they joined the mob after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue.”
According to a criminal complaint, the FBI identified Robert Bauer after someone called the tip line to say Bauer had posted photos on Facebook—including one of him inside the Capitol “giving the middle finger.”
Bauer admitted to FBI agents he’d traveled from Kentucky to D.C. and stayed with his cousin, Edward Hemenway. He said the trio “marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so.”
Trump has denied playing any part in inciting the mob, claiming his rally speech on Jan. 6—in which he told his supporters to head to the Capitol to protest Congress’ certification of electoral votes—was “totally appropriate.”
According to the complaint, Bauer told the FBI that he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong because “there were no signs posted stating that he could not enter” the Capitol.
He said he encountered a cop as he entered the Capitol who “grabbed his hand, shook it, and said, ‘It’s your house now.’” Bauer added that he thought the officer was “acting out of fear.”
Less than shockingly, given the prominence at the riot of QAnon fanatics who believe in false theories about Satanic child abuse, Bauer told investigators that the mob was “angry about pedophiles, the news cycle, and losing their businesses during the lockdown.”
- Justin Rohrlich contributed to this report.