Advertisement

FBI contacted after two Huntington Beach people posted about being at Capitol riot

Kristopher Dreww in a Trump cowboy hat, T-shirt that says "Deplorables" and "Keep America great" mask.
Kristopher Dreww takes part in a demonstration in May in Huntington Beach.
(Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

At least two Huntington Beach far-right activists were at the U.S. Capitol Building last week when it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob protesting the presidential election results.

Kristopher Dreww and Michelle Peterson each posted videos on their social media accounts on Jan. 6, the day Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, delaying the counting of electoral votes and the certification of the election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. The videos have since been deleted.

Huntington Beach Police Department interim Chief Julian Harvey said Monday that authorities were aware of the two activists and would help the FBI with information if necessary.

A Florida man is charged with allegedly carrying away House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern while a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Advertisement

Dreww, a stylist who owns Hair by Kristopher Dreww and calls himself “the Adorable Deplorable” online, posted a video to his YouTube page from his hotel room in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 that he had “just got back from storming the Capitol.” It has since gone viral.

“We stormed it,” he said in the now-deleted video, while denying claims that left-wing group Antifa was responsible for the attack. “It was successful. ... It was us. We proudly took back our Capitol. ... We had the National Guard out for us, and we had the [expletive] cops running ... because they’re smart. We have had enough.”

In another video, Dreww stated: “We went there to attack people, and for once, I’m not ashamed of that. ... That’s what we want to do, that’s what we’re doing, and we will continue to attack people. What are you going to do to save your freedom?”

Dreww could not be reached for comment Monday. His cellphone number has been taken out of service, according to a recording.

Advertisement

Since posting the videos, he has said that he never actually went into the Capitol Building on that day. In a video recorded Thursday, he said his previous videos had been misconstrued.

“I filmed a lot of the situation, which I’m not posting, but I will if I have to,” Dreww said. “It proves I was not in the building. To me, when I said ‘storm the Capitol,’ I meant getting past the barriers that were set up against us. ... We could stand on the lawn that we paid for, stand on those steps, and say, ‘We’re here.’ That’s what I thought we were doing, that’s what I thought we did and that’s what I thought it was all about.”

Law enforcement officials are putting “additional security measures” in place at California’s state capitol building amid warnings from the FBI that last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol could be echoed across the country.

In an online video released Sunday, Drew said he fought his way through the crowd for about an hour before giving up and sitting on the lawn.

Advertisement

“I met this really awesome teacher, this really awesome nurse,” he said. “One of them was from the left, one was a Democrat, and we sat there and made sandwiches, literally.”

Ocean View School District Trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin saved the deleted videos and said Monday that she has contacted the FBI about them. Clayton-Tarvin said that Dreww, who lives in the Ocean View School District she serves, has been vocal in his opposition of her since 2019.

“He just kind of came out of nowhere and started attacking me online,” Clayton-Tarvin said. “He was angry about Shayna Lathus, and he put out videos about me and her, these unhinged, ranting videos ... He started just harassing me nonstop, saying that I’m a member of Antifa, that Shayna is a member of Antifa.”

Lathus was removed from the Huntington Beach Citizens Participation Advisory Board by now-Mayor Kim Carr in 2019 after she was photographed near members of Antifa during a rally in Huntington Beach. Lathus said at the time that she was not engaging with Antifa and was there to support immigrants’ rights.

Advertisement

The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration

Peterson’s since-deleted video, which she posted to Facebook, was saved by Vern Nelson of political blog The Orange Juice Blog. The video appears to show protesters on the steps of the Capitol before entering the building.

Peterson, who has been vocal in her efforts to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, briefly took down her Facebook account before activating it again.

She denied comment when reached by phone Monday.

Advertisement

Szabo writes for Times Community News.


Advertisement
Advertisement