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Mom of furry-hatted Capitol rioter from Arizona defends his "patriotism"

Posted at 8:02 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 16:14:37-05

PHOENIX — His furry, horned headdress and tattoos made Jake Angeli easily recognizable in the mob that took over the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

The 33-year-old, also known as Jake Chansley, has been a fixture at recent pro-Trump rallies in Arizona. He is a QAnon conspiracy theorist who is now a wanted man.

D.C. Metropolitan Police made Angeli first in their list of “persons of interest” for crimes related to the U.S. Capitol chaos. He’s accused of unlawful entry, and there is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

When ABC15 Investigator Melissa Blasius spoke to Angeli’s mother at her Phoenix home Thursday, she said she did not know where her son was, but added, “he’s fine.”

Martha Chansley was unapologetic for her son’s actions.

“It takes a lot of courage to be a patriot, OK, and to stand up for what it is that you believe,” Martha said. “Not everybody wants to be the person upfront.”

Several former classmates tell ABC15 Jake attended Moon Valley High School, and they sent yearbook photos. His mom says he’s a Navy veteran.

“He’s probably one of the gentlest people I know,” Martha said. “He’s trying to get people to hear the message. Wake up. Wake up. Don’t we still live in the United States of America?”

Martha Chansley questioned if police really wanted her son, why didn't they arrest him when he was at the U.S. Capitol.