PITTSBURGH — Federal authorities filed charges Tuesday against a Sharon man who acknowledged on social media that he entered the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.
Matthew Perna is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and with disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Initial reports identified Perna as a Sharpsville resident, but the U.S. Attorney's office reported Tuesday that lives in Sharon.
Scott Brady, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, announced charges against Perna and Jorden Mink of Oakdale, Allegheny County.
Mink is charged with 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.
Perna said on social media last week that he had voluntarily contacted the FBI as part of the investigation.
“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," Brady, a Greenville native, said Tuesday in a statement. "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.”
Perna told his live video audience on Jan. 9 that he could still feel the energy that was present in the crowd that listened to the president’s statement close to the White House and then subsequently traveled to the Capitol.
In the video, he also called for President Trump to give his loyal followers some indication that he will still remain in office for the next four years. Perna claimed in the video that antifa – anti-fascists – instigated the riot, even though everyone identified as having entered the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot has been Trump supporters.
In contrast, in a video posted on Instagram last week, Perna expressed regret for participating in the riot.
“I foolishly allowed myself to get drawn into the negative energy emanating from that building, and it’s weighed me down since,” he said. “I don’t know what the consequences for my actions will be, but be assured I’ll accept them with dignity and acceptance,” Perna said in the second video. “This is clearly an experience that’s meant to lead me even further to Christ. Also, expect a book.”