Christopher Worrell made a tearful plea to Collier County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting, calling himself a "political prisoner" whose civil rights have been violated when he was charged for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
It is the first comment he has made in public following his release from federal custody to home detention late last year, citing medical conditions and the need for specialized treatment.
Worrell, who lives in East Naples and is a member of the Proud Boys, is accused of attacking police officers with pepper spray gel during the riot. In March 2021 he was taken into federal custody after FBI agents executed a search and arrest warrant at his Collier County home.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Worrell is due in court June 17 for a status conference.
His release came with conditions such as approval in advance for doctor appointments and no access to the internet, social media or email unless it is with his legal defense team or approved by the court.
It is not clear whether he was authorized to speak at the County Commission meeting in person Tuesday.
Attorney Alex Stavrou of Tampa, who represents Worrell, issued a statement: "Mr. Worrell was granted fair conditions of release by the Court. Conditions which include allowing essential medical care, and Mr. Worrell will be involved in such medical care for the near distant future. There are no known prohibitions against Mr. Worrell seeking an audience with his publicly elected officials. Mr. Worrell will not be providing comment nor will Trish be doing so on his behalf."
Worrell's custodian, Trish Priller, who said she was speaking for herself and not for Worrell, said he is under a curfew status and is allowed to leave the house.
“Nothing says he can’t talk to people,” she said. “He just can’t speak to the media.”
She said Worrell wanted to speak to his elected representatives and that was why he spoke before the commissioners Tuesday.
“He can do that,” she said.
Chris Worrell asks for help from Collier officials
Wearing a shirt with the words, "POW Jan 6," Worrell introduced himself to commissioners as "political prisoner 377183."
"We respectfully request all elected officials and the Attorney General's office to investigate this matter, to include the arrest extradition of the January 6 defendants arrested in Florida and seek its assistance in seeking their immediate release from custody by the federal government and their prompt return to their homes," he said to commissioners.
Before pausing to hold back tears, he recounted the day in March 2021 when federal agents raided his home.
"They deployed flashbang grenades, parked a SWAT tank at the front of my entrance to my door, and held my wife at gunpoint for hours," Worrell said.
East Naples charged: Feds: East Naples man charged in Jan. 6 insurrection violated terms of his release
He continued by explaining that "due to my blatant civil rights violations, I am now not just fighting for my rights and the rights of others. I'm fighting for my life. My cancer has accelerated to Stage 3 because my government denied me my rights."
Worrell ended his comment by saying, "United we stand."
Commissioner Rick LoCastro reacts
Others in attendance at the meeting briefly applauded, including Commissioner Rick LoCastro.
LoCastro chairs the Collier County Public Safety Coordinating Council with committee members Sheriff Kevin Rambosk and State Attorney Amira Fox. He told the Naples Daily News that he plans to look into Worrell's situation.
"When any citizen asks for our help, I don't ignore it," LoCastro said. "I do support looking into this more."
He added that he asked Worrell and his group to schedule a meeting with him soon.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Proud Boy charged in insurrection makes plea to Collier commissioners