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Huntington Beach far-right activists were at U.S. Capitol during riot

Kristopher Dreww protests during a demonstration in Huntington Beach on May 9, 2020.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

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

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

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

Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said in a statement that his office would be assisting in federal and state efforts to hold rioters accountable. He encouraged members of the public to provide tips and information to fbi.gov/USCapitol.

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

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 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.”

Kristopher Dreww of Huntington Beach answers questions during a live video following the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Kristopher Dreww of Huntington Beach answers questions during a live video following the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week.
(YouTube)

In another since-deleted video, Dreww stated that “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.

Since posting the deleted videos, he has said that he never actually went into the Capitol building on that day. In a question-and-answer 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 capital, 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.

Dreww told online personality Hogatha in a video released Sunday that he fought his way through the crowd for about an hour before giving up and sitting on the lawn.

“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.”

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

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.

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 protestors on the steps of the Capitol before entering the building.

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

She refrained from comment when reached via phone on Monday.

The Army is investigating a captain who led a group of people from North Carolina to the rally in Washington that preceded the Capitol riot.

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