California woman arrested in Huntsville for allegedly participating in Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A California woman is facing charges related to the Jan 6. riot at the U.S. Capitol after being arrested in Huntsville Friday.
According to court documents filed against Stephanie Baez, 27, she is charged with Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority and Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds.
It’s unclear why Baez was in Alabama when she was arrested.
The DOJ criminal complaint against Baez includes photos and screenshots of videos showing Baez in the Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to the complaint, the FBI received an anonymous tip reporting Baez was posting videos of herself inside the capitol on her Instagram.
The FBI was then alerted to a video posted on Twitter in mid-January titled “Girl is ‘Looking for a Proud Boy!’” Apparently referring to the far-right, neo-fascist group the Proud Boys. The complaint goes on to say the woman in the video gave the same Instagram handle already connected to Baez.
According to court documents, investigators also saw Baez on video inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Her cell phone pinged inside the Capitol on that day, as well.
In late April, investigators spoke with Baez who confirmed the Instagram account they were looking into was hers and she was in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 to attend then-President Trump’s rally and look for medical schools.
According to the complaint, Baez said she walked to the Capitol after the rally and was allowed in by Capitol Police. Baez claimed she was allowed in the Capitol because she had looked up the hours beforehand and confirmed it was open at that time.
The complaint goes on to state Baez told investigators many people didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be inside the Capitol because it was so calm inside. She then showed agents videos on her phone she claimed to take while inside the building on Jan. 6.
During the interview, Baez identified herself in three images. One from her Instagram, another from the Twitter video titled “Girl is ‘Looking for a Proud Boy!’” and another image of a person inside the Capitol.
The complaint also included several social media posts by Baez talking about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
One Instagram message to another user from Baez stated, “I’m inside the capitol building.”
Another Instagram message from Baez said, “My proudest moment....Don’t worry, I checked and technically American citizens are allowed into the Capitol Building ANY TIME that congress is speaking, so we were allowed to be there today, and I didn’t break anything. They just hate that I use common sense in my beliefs.”
Court documents say Baez was arrested Friday, June 4 in Huntsville and had her first appearance the same day.
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