Bexar County sheriff's lieutenant draws FBI interest following U.S. Capitol riot
Six Texans so far have drawn attention for attending the violent protest in Washington, D.C. on January 6 in which a mob broke into the Capitol and five people died.
One man has been arrested, and another was fired from his job. All six have since walked back their involvement, claiming they weren't culpable despite photos and social media posts.
At least 90 people have been arrested on charges ranging from curfew violations to assaults on police officers, possessing illegal weapons, and making threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Three of the Texans are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There's also a jail lieutenant from Bexar County, a florist from Midland, and a police officer from Houston.
Roxanne Mathai, a lieutenant for Bexar County's Sheriff's department, was reported to the FBI after posting photos of herself on social media outside the Capitol.
One of her photos was captioned: "Not gonna lie...aside from my kids, this was, indeed, the best day of my life. And it's not over yet."
After she came under scrutiny, Mathai said she was hundreds of feet away and was unaware of the bloodshed taking place in front of her. Her lawyer said she attended the rally but did not enter the Capitol.
Larry Rendell Brock, a resident of Grapevine and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel, was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct, and arrested by the FBI on January 10.
Brock appears in a widely circulated photo wearing tactical gear and holding a handful of zip tie handcuffs.
In an arrest affidavit, an FBI agent said that Brock's ex-wife was among those who contacted the Bureau.
Brock most recently worked for Hillwood in Fort Worth, but the company said he is no longer employed there.
He told the New Yorker that he wore tactical gear because he did not want to get injured by counter-protesters, and said he found the zip ties on the floor.
"My thought process there was I would pick them up and give them to an officer when I see one," he said. "I didn't do that because I had put them in my coat, and I honestly forgot about them."
He made his first court appearance on January 11, and will be represented by a public defender.
Jenna Ryan, a real estate broker from Frisco, has earned international attention after live-streaming video of storming the Capitol, where she says, "We the people are pissed off… We flew by a private jet, God wanted us here today. Trump is my president."
She posted photos of herself at the protest including one next to smashed windows, with a caption that said, "Window at The capital. And if the news doesn't stop lying about us we're going to come after their studios next."
Following the protest, she wrote on Twitter: "We just stormed the capital. It was one of the best days of my life."
Ryan, who falsely claimed she was a "conservative radio show host," has since denied entering the Capitol, and told CBS-11 that the photo of herself next to the smashed glass was "because I was taking photos all over DC all day."
Paul Davis, a lawyer from Westlake, was fired by his employer, Goosehead Insurance, on January 7.
Davis posted a video on Instagram showing himself inside the Capitol, where he said he'd been teargassed. He'd previously posted that the elections were a fraud, and says he was exercising his First Amendment rights.
Jenny Cudd, Midland resident, failed mayoral candidate, and conservative anti-masker, is on the FBI's radar after having launched a Facebook live video from the Capitol, where, draped in a Trump flag, she boasted, "We did break down . . . Nancy Pelosi's office door."
Two days later, she walked that back, telling NewsWest 9 in Midland that when she used the word "we," she meant in a general term and wasn't speaking about herself personally.
Tan Pham, an 18-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, has resigned after being identified as one of the Capitol rioters. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told Houston's ABC13 that he contacted the FBI special agent-in-charge of the Houston office after learning Sunday about Pham's activities.
Acevedo added that he received the tip from a citizen about a Houston police officer seen in images of the Capitol siege and discovered it was Pham via Facebook posts. A joint investigation continues into Pham's involvement that day.
The FBI has a "wanted" page with persons of interest, and is seeking the public's assistance in identifying individuals in the photos posted. They're especially interested in identifying the individual who threw a fire extinguisher into a crowd that hit US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick in the head; Sicknick died later that night.
Steven Devadanam contributed to this story.