Kayla Reifschneider Arrested For Actions in D.C Riot

A woman from the San Fernando Valley was arrested by federal authorities Wednesday for her alleged actions during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.

Kayla Reifschneider, 27, of Northridge, was arrested in Los Angeles and charged with a criminal complaint filed in Washington D.C.

She faces felony charges for obstructing an official proceeding and several misdemeanor charges related to her alleged actions that day, which were described by the United States Department of Justice as "disorderly" and "disruptive" and included physical violence at the Capitol.

According to her arrest warrant which was released Wednesday, Reifschneider was a member of a pro-Donald Trump group on the messaging platform Telegram.

Screenshots and texts that were obtained by federal investigators showed Reifschneider and other members making plans to travel to the nation's capital to partake in a rally hosted by Trump and his supporters in which he urged action on the U.S. Capitol building to disrupt the certification of the 2020 Election and stop the peaceful transfer of power between himself and incoming President Joe Biden.

Reifschneider and other members talked openly about traveling to Washington D.C., bringing stun guns, pepper spray and knives in an effort to arrest Trump's political rivals, including Biden, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

She allegedly tried to coordinate with other Trump supporters to transport a stun gun and pepperspray to the rally by car because she was afraid it would be confiscated during her flight from LAX, the DOJ said.

She later shared images of those weapons, plus several knives, with the group, saying she would be ready to defend herself. In a video shared immediately after, she can be seen with the stun gun and saying, "Can't keep fighting anarchists with kindness or just ignore it anymore."

Once in Washington on Jan. 6, Reifschneider and other members of the Telegram group communicated in real time as the rally allegedly turned violent.

In a video obtained by investigators, Reifschneider was seen in the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol, yelling obscenities at police before joining a group of rioters on the opposite side of the building where members of the media had set up to cover the event. "The media members were behind bike racks, separating themselves from the crowd," the DOJ wrote in a news release announcing her arrest. "After other rioters knocked over and removed bike racks, Reifschneider was seen climbing over a small wall that had separated the media from the rioters."

As members of the media began to flee from the violent crowd that began destroying their equipment, Reifschneider could be seen and heard cheering, cursing at and spitting in the direction of the fleeing media members.

She's also seen throwing a helmet at a person and stomping on a camera with her foot. She later sent a text to one of the group members in which she said she broke her foot by kicking a "CNN camera."

In another video, she can be seen flashing the middle finger and yelling "F- you! It's been four years I've been wanting to do this," the DOJ said.

During the riot, Reifschneider allegedly texted another person to announce she would not be complying with a mandatory 6 p.m. curfew that was put in place in an effort to calm the scene. "Time to show them who they should be afraid of," she wrote.

The following day, when that same individual asked about rioters attacking police, Reifschneider responded, "I definitely saw one getting help. Limping. We f-ed them up worse than antifa and BLM. Lmao."

In the hours that followed the attack on the Capitol, Reifschneider began accusing other members of the Telegram group of being "rats" and leaking their conversation and images. She then threatened that whoever was found to be the leak would get "f-cking f-cked up." She also urged members of the group to delete the chat before she ultimately left the group.

Federal investigators interviewed Reifschneider weeks after the Capitol riot. At the time, she denied being on the front lines of the mob or partaking in any violence. She did admit to yelling at the media and kicking the camera, but said she left the scene once she saw police and protesters sparring.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search her phone, which led to the discovery of text messages to an unnamed person in which she called for the burning of government buildings and corporate businesses in the days leading up to the riot. On Jan. 5, she told that same person that the next day would be "full on war."

Texts after the riot repeated those descriptions of a war at the Capitol building, directing much of her anger toward United States Capitol Police, whom she described as "asshats" who "think the[y] are so tough."

Cops...I'm going to lose my sh-t on the police...I took my back the blue swetaer(sic) off stomped on it and threw it at them," she wrote. Multiple videos from the riot showed Reifschneider wearing a white "Back the Blue" sweatshirt.

The riot at the U.S. Capitol is being investigated by the FBI and those charged are facing prosecution from the United States Attorney's Office and the DOJ.

In more than three years since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, more than 1,358 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, which is a felony.

The Jan. 6 investigation remains ongoing and anyone with tips is urged to contact the FBI online or by calling 1-800-225-5324.

 

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