A Trump supporter who participated in the January riot at the Capitol and is apparently from Pennsylvania has now been arrested by federal authorities after posting videos of himself online depicting his involvement in the storming of the Capitol.
The rioter, Leonard Pearso Ridge IV, is not the first member of the Capitol mob who posted photographic documentation of themselves participating in the attack, and much of this material, including what Ridge posted, has ended up in charging documents against the rioters. Ridge is facing charges including obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and grounds, and disorderly conduct.
Ridge posted at least five videos online showing his participation in the Capitol riot, and he also discussed his involvement in the violence with another user on Snapchat, which is where the videos went up. In one such message, Ridge wrote, “Yeah just stormed the US capital [sic] for the first time in US history and I was a part of it.” He also claimed that he had video of himself “fighting riot police” at the Capitol. Notably, other material from Ridge’s Snapchat account confirms that he, like other rioters, adamantly believed in Trump’s lies about the integrity of the 2020 election. At one point in late December, he said that “the election was completely stolen.”
Ridge is one of well over 400 rioters who are facing federal criminal charges over their participation in the Trump-inspired violence. At this point, trial dates for the defendants are not quite clear. Meanwhile, former President Trump has continued to adamantly push the lie that the 2020 presidential election was somehow rigged for Biden, and polling data has revealed startlingly high levels of support among Republicans for the idea that Biden was not the legitimate election winner.