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DPS arrests two more suspects for crimes related to capitol protests

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AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested two more suspects in connection with rioting and vandalism that occurred during protests near the Texas State Capitol in May.

Last weekend, DPS Special Agents executed arrest warrants for Joe Paul Mitchell, 56, of Austin, Texas, as well as a 16-year-old male.

The first arrest occurred on the evening of Friday, July 3, 2020, when DPS Special Agents obtained multiple arrest warrants for Mitchell that included rioting, resisting arrest and evading arrest. Video posted on social media shows Mitchell attacking and kicking a DPS patrol vehicle during the protest at the Texas State Capitol on May 30, 2020.

When confronted by Troopers, Mitchell first resisted arrest, then tried to escape. As Troopers tried to arrest him, a group of protestors surrounded them, attempting to free Mitchell. Troopers were able to move Mitchell to a safe location, confirm his identity and release him.

On July 3, 2020, DPS Special Agents obtained arrest warrants for Mitchell and he was taken into custody without incident.

The second arrest occurred on Sunday, July 5, 2020, after DPS Special Agents received arrest warrants for a 16-year-old male for resisting arrest, criminal mischief, evading arrest and two counts of riot. Surveillance from May 30, 2020, shows the teen, and 18-year-old Gerald Govan Brown, who has already been charged, spray painting the Texas State Capitol. (Read more about Brown’s arrest in a press release here.) At that time, Troopers attempted to stop and arrest the teen, who resisted and fled. Additional surveillance from May 31, 2020, shows the teen again involved with a group of people spray painting several locations including the Governor’s Mansion and the Texas State Capitol.

On Sunday, July 5, 2020, DPS Special Agents coordinated with the teen’s family, and he was taken into custody without incident.

Both of these arrests are the result of ongoing investigations conducted by DPS Special 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 additional suspects continues.

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