At Least 9 Far-Right Insurrectionists Have A History Of Violence Against Women

Written by on February 10, 2021

Roque Planas contributed reporting.

The message popped up on Katya Brock’s cellphone simply after 10 a.m. one morning in September: “Do the precise factor and kill your self already.”

She was alarmed, however no extra so than she had been by all the opposite messages: “I’ve higher issues to do than communicate to a whore”; “No one loves you”; “Narcissistic whore.” Her ex-husband, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., had been sending them like clockwork for 3 years. A court docket had ordered the couple to speak by a specialised portal whereas their contentious divorce was finalized. Larry usually used it for threats.

“The stuff that he writes to me is brutal. You develop thick pores and skin and attempt to filter it, nevertheless it’s onerous,” stated Katya, who shares a 6-year-old son with Larry. Katya stated her ex-husband views ladies as “disposable” and has abused her all through their 4 years of marriage and extra three years of separation.

Larry, a 53-year-old Air Drive veteran, is among the lots of of insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 and is now dealing with federal expenses. He sported a fight helmet, a bulletproof vest and carried zip-tie handcuffs. His threats to Katya additionally went past these messages ― HuffPost uncovered quite a few 911 calls from their house for home disputes, together with one in 2016 through which Larry was described as making a “terroristic menace of household/family,” in accordance with a police abstract of the decision.

Larry’s historical past of abusive habits is a part of an alarmingly frequent development among the many rioters who’ve been arrested to this point for his or her roles within the rebel. After reviewing police studies and court docket filings, a HuffPost investigation discovered that at the very least 9 insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol have a historical past of violence in opposition to ladies ― starting from home abuse accusations to jail time for sexual battery and legal confinement.

Larry Rendall Brock Jr. wears a combat helmet and vest after entering the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 during the Capitol riot in

Larry Rendall Brock Jr. wears a fight helmet and vest after coming into the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 in the course of the Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.

Specialists have linked extremism to violent misogyny in recent times, particularly within the wake of mass shootings through which the perpetrators had a historical past of violence in opposition to ladies. These violent behaviors exist on a spectrum ― and, in fact, not all abusive males flip into killers ― however violence in opposition to ladies usually begets extra violence, generally lethal. Three individuals died as a direct results of the violence on the Capitol, and greater than 140 regulation enforcement officers have been injured in the course of the riot. Two U.S. Capitol Law enforcement officials have died by suicide within the aftermath.

“We nonetheless, these days, deal with violence in opposition to ladies as a private or household difficulty, versus a troubling indicator of somebody who may change into extra violent,” stated Bridget Todd, communications director at feminist group UltraViolet.

The main points in most of the instances are stunning and disturbing. Man Reffitt, a 48-year-old from Wylie, Texas, was arrested and charged with illegal entry for rioting on the Capitol. Reffitt, described by federal prosecutors as a member of two far-right militia organizations, the Three Percenters and the Texas Freedom Drive, wore a fight helmet and different tactical gear in the course of the rebel.

In 2018, police responded to a home disturbance at Reffitt’s house throughout which he and his spouse have been bodily preventing. Reffitt and his spouse, Nicole Reffitt, have been each drunk, their kids have been current and he had a gun, in accordance with the police report. At one level, Reffitt pushed his spouse onto a mattress and began choking her till she nearly misplaced consciousness, the report states.

Reffitt admitted to police that he put his spouse right into a chokehold and pulled her to the bottom. When the cop requested how lengthy he had choked his spouse, Reffitt responded that “he had hassle remembering however he stated not lengthy as a result of he loves her,” in accordance with the police report.

Nicole Reffitt confirmed to HuffPost that the bodily altercation did occur, though she couldn’t recall particular particulars. “Man has a really excessive respect for girls. He has two daughters. He’s a gentleman in relation to opening doorways. We’re from the South so, you recognize, he wouldn’t stroll by a door earlier than a woman,” she stated.

The FBI additionally charged Reffitt with obstruction of justice for threatening to kill his household in the event that they turned him in to regulation enforcement for his participation within the Capitol riot. “If you happen to flip me in, you’re a traitor and you recognize what occurs to traitors. … Traitors get shot,” Reffitt stated, in accordance with the FBI grievance. Reffitt’s 18-year-old son alerted the FBI to his dad’s presence on the Capitol.

We nonetheless, these days, deal with violence in opposition to ladies as a private or household difficulty, versus a troubling indicator of somebody who may change into extra violent. Bridget Todd, UltraViolet

Like Reffitt, Mathew Capsel, of Marseilles, Illinois, continued threatening and unlawful actions towards ladies even after he was arrested in Washington on Jan. 6. Two days later, Capsel violated a safety order — one in every of a number of violations up to now yr — that was filed by a romantic accomplice after a report of violence (Capsel’s accomplice declined to talk with HuffPost). Capsel was additionally arrested for “battery, mob motion and theft” in 2012 when he was concerned in an incident through which he allegedly hit a girl “3-Four instances within the head,” in accordance with a police report. He doesn’t seem to have confronted legal expenses following his arrest in that case.

The rap sheets of different rioters are suffering from comparable expenses. A California civil court docket in 2018 issued a restraining order in opposition to Jacob Lewis, one other Capitol rioter, to forestall home violence, in accordance with court docket information. The 37-year-old Lewis is healthier often called the California fitness center proprietor who defied COVID-19 security laws.

Samuel Pinho Camargo, 26, was arrested for battery in 2016 after he “deliberately triggered bodily hurt” to his sister, in accordance with a police report. The report states that Camargo broke a door off its hinges and attacked his sister. Each the sister and a witness instructed police that Camargo has “a historical past of anger points” and “a historical past of him hitting them and leaving bruises.”

Dominic Pezzola, a former Marine, had a shotgun faraway from his house after police have been referred to as there in 2005 over a home dispute. The police report notes that Pezzola had a safety order filed in opposition to him on the time. Pezzola, who smashed a Capitol constructing window with a police riot protect in the course of the rebel, is a member of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys, which is thought for its emphasis on “conventional” masculinity.

Andrew Ryan Bennett, who was seen coming into the Capitol chanting “break it down!” and sporting a Proud Boys hat, has an extended rap sheet that features many incidences of violence in opposition to ladies. In 2003, Bennett was arrested after he broke down a glass door at a tattoo parlor and attacked a girl. He later served 18 months in jail for second-degree legal assault.

Police responded to a different incident in 2003 through which Bennett’s mom stated her son “was uncontrolled making an attempt to combat” and “had been ingesting and was turning into increasingly more aggressive to her and others,” in accordance with a police report.

In 2009, police responded to an incident of household violence through which Bennett assaulted his sister and nearly poured bleach on his 2-year-old nephew. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment. In response to HuffPost’s request for Bennett’s information, one file was withheld as a result of it pertained to a toddler abuse case.

A girl who grew up with Bennett described him to HuffPost as “reckless” with a “historical past of being aggressive.” She stated he and his girlfriend usually acquired into home disputes, together with one in 2006 the place home violence expenses have been filed and a protecting order was put in place.

“I don’t assume he sees ladies as his equals,” stated the childhood good friend, who requested to stay nameless out of concern for her security.

Screenshots of past police reports showing accusations and charges of violence against women. "I asked Guy how long he held h

Screenshots of previous police studies exhibiting accusations and expenses of violence in opposition to ladies. “I requested Man how lengthy he held her and he had hassle remembering however he stated not lengthy as a result of he loves her,” one report reads, referring to Man Reffitt.

One other Capitol rioter, Edward Hemenway of Winchester, Virginia, was launched from jail in 2013 after serving 5 years on rape, sexual battery and legal confinement expenses. In response to court docket information, Hemenway lured his estranged spouse to a lodge in 2004 the place he handcuffed her and duct-taped her mouth shut.

The girl, whom HuffPost won’t identify as a result of she’s a sexual assault survivor, stated Hemenway raped her after which “instructed her that he was going to commit suicide and that he was going to make [her] watch him do it,” the police report states. Hemenway tried to drink rat poison, however his estranged spouse talked him out of it, in accordance with the police report.

Hemenway was additionally charged with battery and bodily damage, a legal misdemeanor, in 2002. It’s unclear if the sufferer on this incident was additionally his estranged spouse or another person.

After dashing into the Capitol constructing, Hemenway stated {that a} Capitol Police officer greeted him with a handshake, telling him, “It’s your home now,” in accordance with an FBI grievance.

Donovan Ray Crowl, one other former Marine and a member of extremist group the Oath Keepers who’s dealing with felony expenses for illegally coming into the Capitol, was arrested in 2005 on first-degree misdemeanor home violence expenses in Champaign County, Ohio, in accordance with a public information search within the Nexis database. These expenses have been dropped, nevertheless. HuffPost was not capable of find information documenting that incident by any of the regulation enforcement businesses or the courthouse in that jurisdiction. Defendants routinely transfer to seal legal instances that don’t lead to conviction.

HuffPost reached out to all 9 males for remark besides Crowl, for whom we have been unable to search out contact info. Hemenway declined to remark for this story through his legal professional. Lewis responded to HuffPost’s request for remark: “Kick rocks.”

Larry Brock’s divorce legal professional, Mark Lister, instructed HuffPost that Katya Brock’s allegations in opposition to Larry are “unfounded,” including: “I don’t have any proof introduced to me by anybody but that he’s abused her.”

“I’m not saying Larry’s not an aggressive hothead at instances, he’s an outdated Air Drive fighter pilot. That’s form of the character of these individuals,” Lister stated, including that Brock could be “verbally caustic.” “He tends to let his mouth run away from him. Nevertheless it’s not totally different than every other political group, say a Trump supporter or a [Black Lives Matter] advocate. They let their mouths run away from them and say stuff they shouldn’t say. They are saying stuff that’s simply not true. … However free speech, proper?”

Many individuals rightly see Jan. 6 as a tipping level when Trump’s anti-democratic tendencies and conspiracy-mongering lastly provoked a real catastrophe. Nevertheless it was additionally the crescendo of his yearslong embrace of misogyny and poisonous habits towards ladies. Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct, starting from harassment to rape, by greater than 20 ladies. He stuffed his Cupboard and senior workers with accused home abusers. A month earlier than the 2016 presidential election, he was caught on leaked audio bragging about grabbing ladies “by the pussy.”

“Trump validated these males and the way they view ladies by saying what he stated on the bus with Billy Bush and by ignoring every part that occurred afterwards. He validated their model of poisonous masculinity,” stated Dr. Miranda Christou, a senior fellow specializing in gender and extremism on the Centre for Evaluation of the Radical Proper.

Misogyny — and the poisonous model of masculinity that Trump represents — is “the glue” that introduced the insurrectionists collectively, Christou stated.

When the establishment of the navy infiltrates social life and that sense of masculinity and what makes you a person is dependent upon that ― is dependent upon the gun on the aspect of your hip ― that turns into an issue for girls. Dr. Miranda Christou, Centre for Evaluation of the Radical Proper

Most of the males who stormed the Capitol, together with three of the 9 recognized by HuffPost on this article, are veterans who sported military-style gear equivalent to helmets and tactical goggles in the course of the riot. That is no shock to Christou, who stated generally a militarized persona can have dire penalties for girls.

“You might have types of masculinity that rely on militarized expressions: the uniforms, the weapons, the paraphernalia, the entire thought of the navy construction and self-discipline,” she stated. “When the establishment of the navy infiltrates social life and that sense of masculinity and what makes you a person is dependent upon that ― is dependent upon the gun on the aspect of your hip ― that turns into an issue for girls.”

Larry Brock exemplified all of it. After he was arrested on Jan. 10 for storming the Capitol, Katya Brock filed for a protecting order in opposition to him as a result of she stated she’s fearful for her and her son’s security. “If he was able to doing one thing like this ― going to D.C. and rioting ― I don’t know who that individual is anymore,” she stated.

Police information doc Katya’s allegations of violence by the hands of her ex-husband. Regulation enforcement responded to a number of home disputes on the couple’s house, together with one 911 name from Katya in 2016 the place Larry was ingesting and had a number of weapons in the home, in accordance with police information. The report states Larry locked Katya out of the home in the course of the argument, whereas their 20-month-old son was inside.

Katya stated her ex-husband usually demeaned her for being Russian. She stated he additionally usually disparaged homosexual individuals and other people with psychological sicknesses and disabilities, particularly individuals with Down syndrome. “Larry calls it a illness,” Katya stated of Larry’s perspective towards homosexual individuals. “Larry says, verbatim, ‘We have to have a societal cleanse and put all of those faulty individuals on the prepare.’ , like Hitler did with all the Jews? That was his favourite phrase.”

The Air Drive veteran was fired from his job at CAE, a flight simulation firm, in 2017 for telling colleagues “that [he] had not killed anybody for some time and concerning doubtlessly capturing members of a specific faith and/or race,” his former supervisor wrote in a termination letter.

“Misogyny and white supremacy are mutually reinforcing ideologies as a result of they’re all based mostly on that concept of the nice alternative,” stated Christou, the senior fellow on the Centre for Evaluation of the Radical Proper. The nice alternative is the educational idea that males, particularly white males, really feel they’re being changed by immigrants, individuals of coloration and ladies.

Katya, who’s at the moment finalizing her divorce from Larry, stated she hopes her story will help different ladies who’re in her state of affairs. “I’ve endured rather a lot, but when ladies like me learn this perhaps it should present them they’re not alone.”

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