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DPS continues making arrests in State Capitol protests investigation

The latest two arrests include a 56-year-old and a 16-year-old.

AUSTIN, Texas — More than a month after rioting and vandalism at the Texas State Capitol during the Austin protests, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues to make arrests in its investigation.

Over the weekend, DPS special agents executed arrest warrants for 56-year-old Joe Paul Mitchell of Austin and a 16-year-old minor.

Mitchell was arrested on July 3 for warrants that included rioting, resisting arrest and evading arrest. Social media videos showed the suspect attacking and kicking a DPS patrol vehicle during the protest at the Capitol on May 30.

Officials said when troopers first confronted him, Mitchell resisted arrest and tried to escape. As they attempted to detain him, a group of protesters surrounded them in an attempt to free the suspect. 


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However, the DPS said they were able to move Mitchell to a safer location, identify him and later released him. He was taken back into custody without incident on July 3.

The DPS said the 16-year-old was arrested on July 5 on warrants of resisting arrest, criminal mischief, evading arrest and two counts of riot. Surveillance footage from May 30 caught the suspect and 18-year-old Gerald Govan Brown, who has already been charged, spray-painting the Capitol. At this time, officials said troopers attempted to stop and arrest the suspect but he resisted and fled.

Credit: Texas DPS

Additional footage caught the same suspect involved in another group spray-painting several locations, including the Governor's Mansion and the Capitol, on May 31.

Special agents coordinated with the teen's family and arrested him without incident as well.

On July 15, officials obtained a warrant for Mary Jane Weaver, 22, of Austin. She was wanted in connection to the assault of a Texas State Trooper, interfering with public duties and riot participation during a protest at the Capitol on May 30. She was arrested on July 15 without incident.

Credit: Texas DPS

Officials also arrested Dominque Natalie Hernandez, 19, of Austin on July 16. She faces felony charges for causing more than $7,000 in damage after vandalizing several locations downtown. She also faces charges of rioting.

These arrests are part of ongoing investigations conducted by DPS agents and crime analysts who have reviewed hundreds of hours of videos from various media platforms, surveillance camera footage, law enforcement databases and open-source information over the last several weeks. The investigation into other suspects continues.


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