These 25 Texans aren’t the only 2022 Bum Steers! Read about Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, and all the rest. Also, check out our Best Things in Texas list for examples of some of this year’s uplifting moments.
The invasion of our nation’s Capitol a year ago wasn’t just a stain on American democracy. It was a moment of shame for our state: 59 people were arrested in Texas and charged with crimes committed that day. That’s not, proportionally speaking, a terrible number. Florida, which has three-quarters the population of Texas, delivered a whopping 62 arrestees. (Thank you, Florida Man. And Florida Woman.) But coming from a state that prides itself on its patriotism and its admiration for law enforcement, that’s 59 alleged miscreants too many, especially given that their general incompetence—has any posse ever made it easier for the law to track them down?—confirmed all too many Yankee stereotypes about us. To commemorate this embarrassment, here’s a selection of our fellow citizens who richly deserve their collective status as runners-up for Bum Steer of the Year.
Daniel Page Adams, of East Texas, was charged with multiple crimes after his Louisiana cousin posted videos of the two of them struggling with police officers. Their penchant for pointing the camera at themselves, as well as their distinctive tattoos, assisted investigators in identifying them. Adams has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Larry Rendall Brock Jr., a retired Air Force officer from Grapevine, occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office while wearing an olive-green combat helmet and body armor. He was also carrying zip-tie handcuffs, which he claimed he had just happened to find on the ground and had planned to “give . . . to an officer when I see one.” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Universal City resident Steven Cappuccio was arrested after video footage showed him ripping off an officer’s gas mask with “a significant amount of force” as the officer was being crushed against a doorway. At press time, he had not entered a plea.
Dallas resident Luke Coffee, who was shown in body-camera footage pushing police officers with a crutch, was identified by various people who recognized him, and also by way of his own social media accounts, to which he posted photos of himself wearing the same camouflage jacket and cowboy hat that he wore to the Capitol. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Jenny Cudd, a Midland florist, was arrested after she posted a video of herself saying, “We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door, and somebody stole her gavel and took a picture sitting in the chair, flipping off the camera.” Cudd pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and will be sentenced in March.
Lavon resident Matthew DaSilva was arrested after tipsters who saw photos of the riot recognized his signature black-and-yellow scarf. After January 6, DaSilva, who allegedly fought with police, reportedly stopped wearing the scarf and shaved his beard, though this apparent attempt to elude identification failed. At press time, he had not entered a plea.
Nicholas DeCarlo, of Burleson, entered the Capitol and told law enforcement that he was there working as a journalist. But he wasn’t listed as a credentialed reporter and was photographed wearing a shirt and hat emblazoned with the words “MT Media,” which is apparently an abbreviation of Murder the Media, the name of an obscure group of right-wing content creators. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Carrollton resident David Lee Judd, who was captured on video throwing a flaming object at police and screaming “Ready, heave!” as a group pushed against the officers’ line, was arrested after the FBI found a social media post in which he asked for a ride to the protest. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Benjamin Larocca, of Pearland, stated that when he and his friend Christian Cortez, of Seabrook, entered the Capitol, no police officers were stationed at the doors and that the two men had remained in the “tour area,” even though they had not signed up for a tour. Cortez also stated that he was trying to assist the police—but was recorded on video screaming at officers. Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
After the riot, Garret Miller, of Richardson, called for the assassination of U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter and later threatened the police officer who shot and killed the protester Ashli Babbitt inside the Capitol, saying, “We going to get a hold of [him] and hug his neck with a nice rope.” Miller was arrested while wearing a T-shirt that read “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021.” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
San Marcos Infowars employee Samuel Christopher Montoya was arrested after a relative tipped off the FBI to a video Montoya shot in which he said, “It feels good to be in the Capitol, baby!” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Borger residents Dawn and Thomas Munn and their children Kristi, Kayli, and Joshua were arrested after video footage captured them crawling through a broken window at the Capitol. At press time, they had not yet entered a plea.
Houston police officer Tam Pham resigned from his job and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge after posing for a picture in front of a statue of President Gerald Ford inside the Capitol that was holding a flag that read “Trump 2020: No More Bullshit.”
Wylie oil worker Guy Reffitt, who allegedly participated in the riot, was arrested after his wife informed the FBI that he told his children something to the effect of “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and you know what happens to traitors . . . Traitors get shot.” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Frisco realtor Jenna Ryan flew on a private jet to Washington, where she tweeted a photo of herself in front of a broken window with the message “Window at The capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next.” In the weeks that followed, Ryan falsely claimed she hadn’t gone inside the building and tweeted, “Definitely not going to jail. Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail.” She later pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to sixty days in jail.
Katherine Staveley Schwab, a Tarrant County real estate agent who flew with Ryan, entered the Capitol but claimed that it wasn’t her fault—that she was pushed into the building by the crowd because of her “small stature.” She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Andrew Taake, of Houston, who allegedly used pepper spray and a metal whip against police, was arrested and charged with a handful of federal crimes after he was turned in to authorities by a woman to whom he had boasted about his role in the riot while flirting with her on the dating app Bumble. At press time, he had not entered a plea.
Sean David Watson, of Alpine, turned himself in to authorities after a witness told the FBI that he had shown coworkers a video of himself at the riot saying, “I f—ed s— up.” Despite the evidence, Watson at first denied to law enforcement that he was at the Capitol. At press time, he had not entered a plea.
Odessa coffee roaster Vic Williams, who denied to the FBI that he had entered the Capitol, was arrested when surveillance video proved that he had, in fact, been inside. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge and will be sentenced in February.
Ryan Scott Zink, the owner of Pressure Clean Oil, Gas, and Wind, in Lubbock, was arrested after the FBI was tipped off to a video he had posted to Facebook in which he said, “We knocked down the gates! We’re storming the Capitol! You can’t stop us!” He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Wanted! For Embarrassing Texas.” Subscribe today.
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