38-year-old Ohio resident Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas — who helped lead a so-called “MAGA caravan” — is now among the latest Trump supporters to get arrested by federal authorities over their involvement in the deadly riot at the Capitol in January of this year. That “caravan” consisted of dozens of vehicles traveling to Washington, D.C., shortly before January 6, a date that then-President Trump repeatedly touted in public as a last chance to stop the falsely claimed rigging of the presidential election process.
Thomas was arrested this past Wednesday in Alabama, and as summarized by HuffPost, he now faces federal criminal charges stemming from his repeated physical assaults against police officers around the Capitol on January 6. The charges include “assaulting and resisting officers, obstructing law enforcement and engaging in physical violence on Capitol grounds,” the publication explains. Thomas — who, like other riot participants, openly touted their involvement in the violence on social media — is among over 400 rioters who have been arrested.
As summarized by HuffPost, “Body-camera footage from Metropolitan Police at the Capitol on Jan. 6 showed Thomas, wearing a “Veteran for Trump” camouflage baseball cap, pushing officers’ shields, punching and hitting cops, and telling the crowd of rioters to “hold the line,” according to the FBI affidavit.” The reality of what took place at the Capitol that day provides a jarring contrast to an attempt by former President Trump himself to gloss over the violence. During an interview on Fox, Trump claimed, discussing the rioters, that “some of them went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know, they had great relationships.”
Thomas wrote on Facebook the day following the riot that he regretted that the gathering “devolved the way it did.” No amount of regret will erase the fact that he violently assaulted police officers who were trying to protect top government leaders from the openly murderous mob. At one point, some of those around the Capitol began to chant, “Hang Mike Pence!” because of a perception that he hadn’t been obedient enough to Trump’s demands. This situation is gravely serious.