Man who was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show charged for alleged role in Capitol Riot

Man who was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show charged for alleged role in Capitol Riot
The Ellen DeGeneres Show

A former guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been arrested for allegedly participating in the violent riots at the US Capitol on 6 January that killed five people.

30-year-old Ryan Nichols was arrested on18 January and booked into the Smith County Jail, records show. News station KLTV reported that he was charged with “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and conspiracy and unlawful entry with a dangerous weapon”.

The outlet also reports that he was also charged with assault on a federal officer, using a deadly or dangerous weapon and aiding and abetting.

So why did he appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show?

Nichols became a viral superstar in 2018 when he rescued dogs during Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. He was seen in a video letting six dogs out of a flooded kennel.

DeGeneres, a vegan and animal lover, had him on her show to celebrate his heroism.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC News, social media posts from Nichols’ accounts were turned over to the FBI by two witnesses.

The posts, which appear to have been deleted, include videos of Nichols a friend at the riots. According to NBC News, other videos showed the men on the ledge of a Capitol window with Nichols shouting into a bullhorn saying "This is not a peaceful protest!" and encouraging people to get their weapons.

According to KLTV's report, Nichols is accused of using a crowbar as a weapon during the riots.

PEOPLE reports that his lawyer argues that there was no evidence to prove their clients intended to harm police officers or that they destroyed property on 6 January.

Ellen DeGeneres has not publicly commented on the arrest of her former guest.

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