A California man and self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys was arrested today for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Ricky Christopher Willden, 39, of Oakhurst, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and acts of physical violence in the Capitol building or grounds, among other charges. Willden will make his initial court appearance in the Eastern District of California this afternoon.
The Proud Boys is a group self-described as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.” In publicly available videos recorded on Jan. 6, Willden can be seen in a crowd near the east door of the Capitol at 2:24 p.m. (according to time stamps in one of the videos) wearing a dark jacket, beanie cap and gloves, and cheering as the doors to the Capitol opened. At 2:35 p.m., he can be seen raising his hand and spraying an unknown substance from a green can toward police officers who were standing guard at the east door.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Washington Field Office.
In the more than 150 days since Jan. 6, approximately 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including over 130 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.