St. Charles Man Paul Westover Charged in U.S. Capitol Siege

click to enlarge A grinning Paul Westover, center, next to Emily Hernandez, left. - ITV NEWS SCREENSHOT
A grinning Paul Westover, center, next to Emily Hernandez, left.

A St. Charles businessman who wore a Blues hat during a siege at the U.S. Capitol has been charged with four federal crimes.

Paul Westover of Lake St. Louis was caught on film with a crowd of rioters inside the Capitol on January 6 when pro-Trump insurgents stormed the building. The 52-year-old is the president and founder of a St. Peters-based headhunting company called Search Ingenuity.

In a video recorded by UK-based ITV News, Westover trails along behind another Missourian, 21-year-old Emily Hernandez of Sullivan, as she parades a stolen shard of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's nameplate through the halls. At one point, he and Hernandez and a third man pose in front of the camera with the broken nameplate. A man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt stands just to Westover's right.

Hernandez was charged three weeks ago, and Westover's arrest had been expected for nearly as long. St. Louis media had previously identified Westover in the video but hadn't named him because he hadn't been charged. One of the first journalists to identify Westover was Charles Jaco, who posted images this morning of a law enforcement raid on the businessman's tony home in a lakefront development.

This afternoon, Westover made his court appearance by Zoom with attorney Joseph Hogan while Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Drake appeared for the government. Westover is charged with one felony of obstructing, impeding or interfering with law enforcement and three misdemeanors: disruptive conduct in the Capitol building, disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds.

During the proceeding, Westover answered questions briefly in a clear, almost chipper voice. Similar to Hernandez, he was released on his own recognizances with a court date for a preliminary hearing later this month.

A third Missouri man, Zachary Martin of Springfield, was arrested last week after he was identified in images from the Capitol.