© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Three Kansas City-Area Men Arrested For Conspiring To Storm U.S. Capitol

Federal Bureau of Investigation
William Chrestman of Olathe, circled at right in glasses, Christopher Kuehne of Olathe (far left, circled) and Louis Colon of Blue Springs (also circled), in a photo released Thursday as part of a federal criminal complaint charging them in the Jan. 6 raid on the U.S. Capitol.

Three men alleged to be part of the Kansas City Proud Boys were arrested Thursday in what a federal criminal complaint says was a coordinated operation to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Dressed for battle in camouflage pants, a green tactical vest, black boots and a black baseball cap, William Norman Chrestman of Olathe was at the front of the line of rioters who faced down U.S. Capitol Police on Jan. 6.

A rolled-up Trump flag was in his hand, which would later be unwound to reveal a wooden club or ax handle, the FBI alleges in a 28-page criminal complaint. Orange fluorescent tape marked his helmet, which he carried at his hip.

As U.S. Capitol Police moved to arrest one of the rioters, Chrestman threatened that he’d shoot them. Then Chrestman turned to the crowd and shouted:

“Whose house is this?”

The crowd roared back: “Our house!”

“Do you want your house back?” Chrestman yelled.

“Yes!” from the crowd.

“Take it!” Chrestman shouted.

Chrestman, along with Christopher Charles Kuehn of Olathe and Louis Enrique Colon, of Blue Springs, Missouri, were arrested by the FBI Thursday, charged with coordinating their efforts to storm the Capitol on the day Congress was set to certify the Electoral College vote.

A federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday says the three, along with two others from Arizona, are alleged to be part of the Kansas City Proud Boys, a division of the larger white supremacist group.

Through gestures and other communication, including the orange tape which marked them all, the five worked together to thwart the police and enter the Capitol. Chrestman is also charged with threatening a law enforcement officer.

Video found on social networks, along with surveillance tape, showed the three working together and consulting other known members of the Proud Boys, the complaint said. They were along the first line of rioters who pushed back on police, grabbing the waist-high metal barriers meant to hold them back and then obstructing metal gates meant to keep crowds from tunnels underneath the Capitol.

More than 200 people have been charged in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol after a rally with then-President Trump, who urged the crowd to “fight like hell.” Among those charged, approximately 17 are said to be members of the Proud Boys.

021121_lowe_proud boy coins.jpg
According to the federal criminal complaint, a woman boasted on Snapchat after the Jan. 6 riot that she had been recruited into the Kansas City Proud Boys group and given this "challenge coin."

All three Kansas City-area men were taken into custody without incident, said Bridget Patton, an FBI spokeswoman.

Chrestman was arrested on federal charges of conspiracy, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Kuehn and Colon were arrested on federal charges of conspiracy, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.