SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – A Sharon man is now facing federal charges as a result of protests at the Capitol.
Matthew Perna is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Federal investigators said they identified Perna by video posted from inside the U.S. Capitol. They say Perna was observed inside wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with the lettering “Make America Great Again.” He was also chanting, “U.S.A.” while filming video on his cell phone, according to a statement of facts in the case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
On January 11, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael G. Harvey authorized a warrant for
Perna’s Facebook account.
On or about January 6, an eight-minute video was posted to Perna’s Facebook account, which shows Perna and a woman describing their experiences in Washington, D.C. According to the Department of Justice, Perna admitted in the video to walking into the Capitol building with another man.
Witnesses told investigators that Perna was a known supporter of QAnon and its conspiracy theories.
Investigators said Perna admitted to being inside the Capitol but said he was pushed inside by the group. He said he had been at the top of the stairs and was surprised that the door was open.
He did admit to tapping on a window with a metal pole because he was frustrated, according to the statement filed by the DOJ.
Charges were also filed against another suspect, Jorden Mink, of Oakdale, Pa. Mink faces charges of unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds while using or carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon; unlawful injury to property on Capitol grounds; violent entry, disorderly conduct, physical violence on Capitol grounds; destruction of government property valued at over $1,000, theft of government property and aiding and abetting.
Scott W. Brady, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement in regard to the arrests:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working closely with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to identify those residents of western Pennsylvania who violated federal law in our nation’s Capitol on January 6. The charges announced today against Jorden Mink and Matthew Perna are the result of this collaboration. Together with our federal, state and local partners, we will ensure that our community is safe from those who would incite or commit further violent acts. Such criminal activity will be met with swift justice.”