A retired Texas couple says FBI agents on June 22 broke through the gate of their rural home, threw flash-bangs, handcuffed them, and trained lasers on them before searching their home for evidence connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the Capitol.
Lora DeWolfe and Darrel Kennemer, who live on seven acres near San Marcos, Texas, told The Epoch Times they attended the Jan. 6 rally at the Capitol but did nothing wrong. They believe the FBI mistakenly identified Kennemer as someone else.
The FBI didn't arrest them, they said. Agents eventually produced a search warrant saying Kennemer was suspected of "assaulting, resisting or impeding" officers and "entering restricted building or grounds."
Both said they went no farther than the Capitol steps on Jan. 6 and didn't harm anyone or damage anything. They said the allegation of assault was false, and the FBI kept showing Kennemer a blurry photo of a man who looked similar but wasn't Kennemer.
"I vacillate between feeling mad and helpless," DeWolfe said. "I was really sad. We just wanted an honest election."
Raid Before DawnThe ordeal began when their gate alarm woke them up in the pre-dawn hours of June 22, DeWolfe said. At first, they thought a deer had tripped the alarm, but DeWolfe got up and saw a white car. Kennemer got his AR-15 rifle and went outside, not knowing what to expect, DeWolfe said.
"I'm seeing one single white vehicle moving pretty fast, and I was thinking someone's going to die," Kennemer said.
FBI officers got out of the white vehicle and told Kennemer, who had his rifle up in the air, to drop his weapon. He kept his rifle and asked the FBI to show him a warrant. Kennemer said someone threw a flash-bang at him repeatedly because he wouldn't drop his weapon at first.
DeWolfe said Kennemer put the gun down when she came out of the house. She noticed red laser sights trained on both of them.
"There was a drone flying around and an aircraft," she said. "They never showed a warrant until the end."
DeWolfe then tried calling a neighbor before the FBI told them to drop their phones, which ended up recording the first few minutes of the raid.
Agents entered the house and threw a flash-bang that frightened their dogs, causing one to run away, DeWolfe said.
Agents separated DeWolfe and Kennemer and began questioning them. They showed Kennemer a blurry photo of a man at the Capitol with facial hair similar to his, he said. They asked him about breaking a window, which he denied as well.
Daughter's ResponseLater that day, DeWolfe was able to call her daughter, Ricci Bratton, to tell her what happened. Bratton, who served in the U.S. Air Force, said her mom called her around 1 p.m.
"You want to talk about surreal—my first instinct was, 'You're kidding. There's no way,'" Bratton told The Epoch Times.
Bratton said she thought her mother was in shock but was trying to remain calm.
"It wasn't a knock at the door. That's for sure," Bratton said. "I can't believe this is happening. You don't believe it's happening to your family."
The FBI didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.