TYLER, Texas (KETK) – One of the East Texas men arrested for his participation in the siege on Capitol Hill is well known throughout the Piney Woods for his charity work.

Ryan Nichols, a 30-year-old Marine from Longview, was charged with several crimes, including assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon.

In March of last year, Nichols gained attention when begging for sewing machines and materials to make masks at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He appeared on the “Ellen” TV show in 2018, after driving more than 18 hours to North Carolina to help get people to safety. Along the way, he found six dogs locked in cages, trapped by rising floodwaters.

Ellen presented him with a check for $25,000 that would be donated to the Humane Society in his name.

A 20-page Department of Justice arrest warrant lists out in great detail how Nichols had planned for weeks to go to D.C. for the Jan.6 Electoral College certification. He was arrested along with 32-year-old Alex Harkrider of Carthage.

Two witnesses separately contacted the FBI and agents reviewed Nichols’ Facebook page. It included numerous photographs and videos.

“In the photos, Nichols appears with a beard and wearing a Marine Corps camouflage hat, American flag face cover around his neck, and a blue jacket…”


In a video obtained by FBI agents, a man who appears to be Nichols is seen yelling into a bullhorn “If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!” along with “This is the second revolution right here folks! … This is not a peaceful protest.” The video also shows Nichols allegedly grabbed a large, red aerosol can and sprayed it toward Capitol Police officers.

In another Facebook post, Nichols said he was “feeling pissed off” at the United States Capitol. He wrote: “We’re in. 2 people killed already. We need all the patriots of this country to rally the f*** up and fight for our freedom or it’s gone forever.

On Christmas Eve, Nichols made a post to a separate Facebook account that talked about the upcoming Electoral College certification on January 6 in D.C. He posted a photo that read: “By Bullet or Ballot: Restoration of the Republic is Coming!”

Four days later he wrote on the same Facebook page that “Pence better do the right thing, or we’re going to MAKE you do the right thing.”