- North Carolina resident Chris Carnell was arrested in connection with the January 6 riots.
- Accessories helped authorities identify him, including a pair of Pit Viper sunglasses.
- Carnell also snapped photos with white nationalists Nick Fuentes and Baked Alaska the day before.
A North Carolina Capitol rioter has been charged by federal authorities who identified him and a friend by the colorful — and sometimes painfully obvious — accessories they wore when they stormed the Capitol.
Christopher Carnell, who appeared before a Raleigh court on Thursday, was caught by security cameras carrying a bright red backpack with his last name sewn on the back. Other fashion statements that helped identify him and his friend David Worth Bowman were Pit Viper sunglasses and a blue face mask.
Carnell faces five charges for his participation in the riots, including a charge of obstructing, interfering with or obstructing an official process, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Bowman is not currently charged, although it is unclear if charges will be filed against him.
A DOJ spokesman did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Authorities were first brought to the attention of Carnell and Bowman after they arrested another rioter, Aiden Henry Bilyard, in November 2021, according to an FBI criminal complaint filed Wednesday. Bilyard, who admitted to pepper spraying officers during the riots, is currently awaiting conviction and faces up to five years in prison.
After confiscating Bilyard’s phone, authorities found a group chat with three of Bilyard’s friends, including Carnell and Bowman.
According to messages sent in the group chat, on November 14, 2020 – after the presidential election – the friends snapped photos at the “Million MAGA March” with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and Tim Gionet, a streamer better known as Baked Alaska, and shared them in the group chat.
Before Jan. 6, 2021, the group texted about plans to attend the Stop the Steal rally, news shows. On the day of the rally, Bowman boasted via text message to his friends that he had given Baked Alaska his Pit Viper sunglasses, signaling to authorities that he had worn the sunglasses at some point during the day.
Two days after the riot, the group also spoke in coded form about entering certain parts of the US Capitol. For example, they referred to the Capitol as a “Minecraft building” and asked their friends to delete their chat history “for fun.”
After reviewing the video footage, Senate officials found a man wearing Pit Viper goggles and a blue mask speaking to a man wearing a red MAGA hat and carrying a red backpack named “CARNELL” sewn with white thread .
On December 1, 2022, in a voluntary interview with FBI agents, Bowman admitted he was the one with the sunglasses and identified his friend Carnell as the one with the MAGA hat.
“Bowman went on to explain that he was unaware of what was going on in the Senate chamber earlier in the day, but understood that Mike Pence needed to certify something in the House chamber,” the affidavit reads.
“Bowman explained that when he and Carnell actually entered the Senate, they had no clear purpose or agenda. He said, ‘Like we’re in here… like uh… we’re a dog, we hit the car, we don’t know what to do.'”
The affidavit said there was a “probable reason” that Carnell and Bowman committed multiple crimes.
Carnell is scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington, DC via Zoom on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m
At least 1,000 people have been charged in the Capitol riot so far, according to an insider database.
Recently, former President Donald Trump mythologized the rioters in the form of a song entitled “Justice for All,” in which the voices of several insurgents sing the national anthem.
Bowman and Carnell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.