WASHINGTON — A California woman who said in an interview she wanted to "find me a Proud Boy" at the Capitol riot was arrested last week on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Stephanie Baez, 27, was arrested Friday in Huntsville, Alabama, after a warrant for her arrest was issued on June 1.
According to a statement of facts filed in D.C. District Court, the FBI began receiving tips about Baez’s alleged involvement in the riot before January 6 was even over – including a link to a video she’d posted to her Instagram of herself during the riot.
The FBI was also alerted to an interview shot in front of the Capitol in which Baez said she was “looking for a Proud Boy” and gave out her Instagram handle, which matched the one the agency had been given.
Investigators were subsequently able to identify surveillance footage and other public videos appearing to show Baez inside the Capitol during the riot. They also executed a search warrant on her Instagram account, which revealed a number of messages Baez allegedly sent before, during and after the riot. In those messages, according to the FBI, Baez said she had come to D.C. on January 6 to “fight Antifa” and that “peaceful protesting did nothing for us.”
Investigators said Baez also told them in an interview that she believed she was allowed to be in the Capitol building and had even looked up what days the Capitol was closed, although “it is possible that she read the website wrong.”
In another Instagram message, the FBI says Baez bragged about the riot being her “proudest moment” and lamented the image of her used in a photo of Capitol riot suspects, saying, “I want to send them the one of me in my USA bikini…”
Baez appeared virtually before a federal judge last week for her initial hearing. Magistrate Judge Herman N. Johnson granted her pretrial release on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
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