California man charged with raid on Capitol and impersonating media

Santa Ana, California (Associated Press) – A Southern California man was arrested for joining a mob trying to impersonate a member of the media to attack the U.S. Capitol.

45-year-old Matthew Thomas Purse was arrested in Irvine on Friday and faces federal charges including entering and staying in restricted buildings or venues, and in restricted buildings or venues. Disorder and destructive behavior within the Capitol, disorderly behavior in the Capitol, marches, demonstrations, or pickets in the Capitol, according to the Orange County Chronicle.

According to the criminal lawsuit that was unsealed on Friday, the wallet was photographed wearing a tactical vest and a black helmet marked “news” inside the Capitol. The FBI stated in the arrest warrant affidavit attached to the complaint that there is no evidence that Purse has legal journalistic qualifications or is associated with any news organization.

When contacted by the Associated Press on Saturday in Perth, he said he was “part of a legitimate news organization” in the building. He declined to name the news organization, saying he has been facing threats of violence.

“The records will show that I am not there in any illegal capacity,” Perth said.

According to court documents, the video footage shows that the wallet entered the Capitol building on the east side of the building on January 6, carrying a long black pole with what appears to be a recording device at the end, and then heading to the rotunda.

According to the FBI, the wallet was identified by a confidential source who saw him in a live video.

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