U.S. NEWS

Man Who Said 'Traitor' Trump Critics Deserved To Die Is Charged Over Capitol Riot

Kurt Peterson, who investigators say smashed a window at the Capitol on Jan. 6 with "wooden sticks" and his fist, was arrested in Kentucky on Wednesday.

A Kentucky man who referred to former President Donald Trump’s opponents as “traitors” deserving of death has been arrested for allegedly smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The FBI in Louisville announced Kurt Peterson’s arrest on Wednesday, saying he had been charged with several crimes, including destruction of government property and unlawful entry into a restricted building.

According to court documents filed by the Justice Department, Peterson posted information on Facebook admitting to his involvement in the insurrection at the Capitol.

In a Jan. 10 post, Peterson said he had entered the Capitol building on the day of the riot with “3 men who had served our country in special forces.” Peterson said he had not forced entry into the building and had “told everyone that we were not there to hurt anybody or damage anything” but “to right the wrongs of the past election.”

Peterson wrote that he had witnessed law enforcement shoot a woman inside the Capitol that day. He may have been referring to Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police as she attempted to breach a barricaded door near the Speaker’s Lobby outside the U.S. House of Representatives.

Peterson said he had attempted to render aid to the wounded woman but was prevented from doing so.

He concluded his post by saying that he did not “trust many branches or people in our government” so he was “moving continuously and wrapping my phone in such a way that I hope it cannot be tracked.”

Federal investigators said there was footage of Peterson using “wooden sticks and his fist to smash an exterior window pane of the Capitol building.” 

In the footage, the man investigators have identified as Peterson can be heard yelling, “This is our house. Let us in. Our house.”

Investigators said Peterson had also “previously posted on his Facebook page that Democratic lawmakers who opposed Trump were traitors and that the penalty for treason was death.”

Peterson is among the nearly 500 people the Justice Department has arrested to date in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The DOJ said earlier this month that its “resolve to hold accountable those who committed crimes on January 6th has not, and will not, wane.”

Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.