Patriot Front founder arrested
White nationalist leader Thomas Ryan Rousseau, 21, was arrested along with two other men on Saturday in Weatherford, Texas.
Thomas Ryan Rousseau, the founder and leader of the white nationalist group Patriot Front, was arrested along with two other men on Saturday in Weatherford, Texas, The Informant has confirmed.
Deputies with the Parker County Sheriff’s Office arrested the three on minor charges. Each was accused of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, for allegedly putting up stickers on county property.
One of the arrest reports described the stickers as displaying the words “Reject Poison” along with “images of various drugs.” Patriot Front has been known to use similar stickers in acts of vandalism across the nation.
Rousseau, 21, is a rising, though rarely seen, figure in the white nationalist movement. He founded Patriot Front a little more than two years ago while he was still a teenager, and it has since grown to having a few hundred members nationwide.
The group hopes one day to carve out an all-white nation from what it describes as the “bleeding carcass” of the United States. Deeply racist and antisemitic, it preaches that only those whose ancestors come from the “European diaspora” should legally be defined as American.
As its name implies, Patriot Front cloaks itself in red-white-and-blue patriotism in an effort to soften its toxic racism. But the group’s own manifesto and the statements of Rousseau put it squarely in line with other white nationalist groups in the U.S.
In a podcast interview in December, Rousseau eschewed such labels. Yet he went on to embrace clear white nationalist ideas.
“If for whatever reason I was in charge of the United States, my first priority would be to dissolve as much as I could of the international boundaries because there is no just way that the government could rule over so many different people. I want Americans to have their own state,” Rousseau said before clarifying what he meant by “Americans.”
“Obviously, ‘Americans’ are members of the European racial collective,” he said.
In 2017, Rousseau was a leader of the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America. He led a contingent of its members that year during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Among those who marched with the group and carried a shield with its logo was James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors later that day, killing anti-racist activist Heather Heyer and injuring many others.
Vanguard America, which is now facing a federal lawsuit for its role in the violent rally, later said that Fields was never a member of the group. It eventually disbanded amid infighting while Rousseau broke away to start Patriot Front.
The news of Rousseau’s arrest made waves on social media on Monday after it was rumored that he and the other two men were arrested for putting up fake “antifa” stickers in Weatherford. Those rumors proved to be unfounded.
The other men arrested were Cameron Rathan Pruitt, 21, of Midway, Utah, and Graham Jones Whitson, 29, of Grapevine, Texas. The arrest reports listed Whitson and Rousseau as living at the same address in Grapevine.
Jail records in Parker County showed all three men were held overnight on $500 bond and released the next day.
A message sent to Rousseau on Monday seeking comment was not returned.
Like The Informant and want to help make it even better? Give me feedback, point out factual errors or typos, or send me news tips. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.