Naples Proud Boy Christopher Worrell in Jan. 6 attack arrested after manhunt. What we know

The manhunt for a Naples man and Proud Boys member is officially over after a month.

Christopher Worrell, convicted for his part in the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol, has been arrested at his home by the FBI, a Collier County Sheriff's Office spokesperson confirmed to the Naples Daily News on Thursday night.

The sheriff's office assisted the FBI with the warrant. When it was served, Worrell was home.

Worrell went missing in August just as he was about to face sentencing for multiple crimes he committed during the riot. He was found guilty in May. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence that includes 14 years in prison, fines and other conditions.

Among other violations, Worrell was accused of assaulting law enforcement officers with pepper spray.

Here's what to know about Worrell and his role in the insurrection:

Breaking news: Proud Boy Christopher Worrell arrested at his home, Collier Sheriff's Office confirms

Who is Christopher Worrell?

Christopher John Worrell, 52, is a Naples resident who was involved in and has been charged for his role in the United States Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, 2021.

Christopher Worrell of East Naples at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a photo included in an FBI statement of facts a federal magistrate signed March 10, 2021.
Christopher Worrell of East Naples at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a photo included in an FBI statement of facts a federal magistrate signed March 10, 2021.

What organization was Worrell a part of?

Worrell has self-identified as a member of the “Hurricane Coast Zone 5” chapter the Proud Boys, which is a neofascist white nationalist extremist organization established in 2016. The group’s members were noted for their misogynistic and anti-Semitic rhetoric, QAnon-related beliefs, their support for former president Donald Trump, and their propensity for street violence.

While being questioned by FBI officials on Jan. 18, 2021, he reportedly became agitated when asked about the Proud Boys, stating, "the Proud Boys were not a racist white supremacist group like the media tries to portray."

Where was Worrell during the insurrection?

On Jan. 6 of 2021, a pro-Trump mob sought to keep former president Donald Trump in power by preventing a joint session of Congress from counting the Electoral College votes to formalize the presidential victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

Worrell joined protestors and fellow Proud Boys at the scene of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. He was dressed in a tactical vest and carrying two canisters of pepper gel.

Although Worrell did not enter the building to the government’s knowledge, the Naples Daily News reported previously he lied to law enforcement officers about his conduct at the riot, refused to turn himself in for arrest where directed and issued a vague threat about a potential witness, according to prosecution.

Worrell also assaulted a line of law enforcement officers with pepper spray gel outside the U.S. Capitol building during the riot, according to the prosecution. He passed U.S. Capitol Police officers and warned them not to resist, saying “honor your oaths, on your knees,” and “don’t make us go against you," as well as other expletives.

When was Worrell arrested for his role in the riots?

Christopher Worrell was initially arrested after FBI agents executed a search and arrest warrant at his Naples home on March 12 of 2021. FBI officials had received a tip about Worrell's involvement in the riots and raided his home in the 200 block of Stanhope Circle.

Worrell was not home during the initial raid and was instructed to turn himself into the nearest FBI resident agency in Sarasota. However, reports show he declined and stated he would turn himself in to the FBI at his home.

Though the FBI confirmed his arrest on Thursday, they did not say when he was brought back into custody after becoming a fugitive in August.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that more than 950 people have been charged for their roles in the two years since the violent mob forced its way into the U.S. Capitol, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation continuing to seek hundreds more.

Since the insurrection, the Justice Department has arrested more than 775 individuals in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the events of that day.

Who tipped off FBI agents about Worrell?

On Jan. 13, a tipster contacted the FBI to report that they believed Worrell traveled to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and potentially participated in the riot. The details are included in the FBI statement of facts a federal magistrate signed March 10.

The tipster said they are an acquaintance of Worrell's girlfriend and former Naples Daily News employee, Trisha Priller. The tipster also told the FBI that they had seen a video on Worrell's Facebook page that showed him participating in the riots.

What was Christopher Worrell charged with?

Worrell's trial began in late April after a number of delays. In May of this year, a federal judge found him guilty of seven counts:

  • Obstruction of an official proceeding.

  • Entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

  • Disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

  • Engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

  • Act of physical violence in the U.S. Capitol grounds or buildings.

  • Civil disorder.

  • Assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon.

The verdict followed a five-day bench trial.

The Department of Justice has asked U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to sentence Worrell to 14 years years in prison; three years of supervised release; $2,000 in restitution; a fine of up to $181,000; and $610 in mandatory special assessments, which are imposed on defendants convicted of federal crimes.

Has Worrell publicly commented on the charges?

In April of 2022, Worrell made his first public comment following his release from federal custody to home detention the previous year. He addressed the Collier County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting, calling himself a "political prisoner" whose civil rights have been violated.

Wearing a shirt with the words, "POW Jan 6," Worrell introduced himself to the board as "political prisoner 377183."

"We respectfully request all elected officials and the Attorney General's office to investigate this matter, to include the arrest extradition of the January 6 defendants arrested in Florida and seek its assistance in seeking their immediate release from custody by the federal government and their prompt return to their homes," Worrell said.

Naples Daily News recounted he continued by explaining that "due to my blatant civil rights violations, I am now not just fighting for my rights and the rights of others. I'm fighting for my life. My cancer has accelerated to Stage 3 because my government denied me my rights.

When did Christopher Worrell go missing?

A week after a federal judge issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a Collier County man convicted for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol, they continue to seek answers. The Tampa-based U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday shared a social media statement from the FBI's Tampa office saying they are still searching for Christopher Worrell, 52, of East Naples.

While awaiting his sentencing on Aug. 18, Worrell suddenly went missing.

Worrell had been on house arrest after court records report that he complained about the treatment at the D.C. jail. He had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and also contracted COVID-19 during his time in jail. The federal judge allowed him to await sentencing in his Naples home while on house arrest.

Worrell is currently wanted by the FBI, as they have issued a federal arrest warrant on August 15.

"Christopher John Worrell is wanted for violating conditions of release pending sentencing on federal charges related to the violence at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021," the warrant says.

Officials ask anyone with information about Worrell's whereabouts to contact their local FBI office or the nearest American embassy or consulate.

What is known about Worrell's latest arrest?

The Naples Daily News reported that Worrell was arrested at his home Thursday afternoon. The sheriff's office assisted the FBI with the warrant.

An arrest affidavit from the sheriff's office said deputies with the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit responded around 2:30 p.m. Thursday to the 200 block of Stanhope Circle and assisted the FBI in Worrell's apprehension.

The report says federal agents "gained consent entry" to the home and found Worrell unconscious on the kitchen floor.

First responders rendered aid and took Worrell to the undisclosed hospital. Authorities didn't immediately provide an update on his condition.

Where is Worrell currently?

Jail records indicate Worrell is in custody on a hold for Hillsborough County, where the local FBI office is in Tampa. Michelle Batten, spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff's Office, told the Naples Daily News that Worrell was in custody at an undisclosed hospital.

Where was Worrell during the time he was missing?

Officials have not released any information on Worrell's whereabouts while he was missing.

Contributing reporting: Tomas Rodriguez, Naples Daily News

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Christopher Worrell: Florida Proud Boy, Jan. 6 riots fugitive arrested