trouble

Patriot Front member’s mom tells him to find new home after Pride arrest

Jared Michael Boyce is an alleged member of Patriot First
Jared Michael Boyce of Springville, UT (Photo: Kootenai Country Sheriff’s Office)

Thirty-one men affiliated with the white nationalist, far-right Patriot First group were arrested in northwest Idado on Saturday afternoon.

Authorities say the men, wearing balaclavas and masks, were traveling to an LGBTQ Pride event in Coeur d’Alene City Park. The U-haul truck they were traveling in carried materials suggesting they intended to start a riot.

On Sunday, police released the names and mugshots of the arrested men, and the mom of one of them is now speaking out.

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Karen Amsden is the mother of alleged Patriot Front member and Springville, Utah resident Jared Michael Boyce, 27. She spoke exclusively to the Daily Beast, saying she’s now told her son to “Pack your stuff and get out of my house.”

Amsden is a licensed clinical social worker. She says her son has struggled to fill “a void” in his life since his dad left the family years ago and came out as gay.

Amsden said she’s speaking out in the hope that going public will screw up her son’s standing in Patriot First. She’s tried repeatedly to persuade him to turn away from such groups and extremist beliefs.

“I would love to do whatever I can to out him [as a Patriot Front member] so that he can’t be a part of it,” she said. “And that they don’t want him to be a part of their group because his mom has loose lips and a big mouth and he’s never going to get away with anything.”

On being released from custody, Boyce’s mom gave him an ultimatum: Leave the group or pack your bags. Her son told her he couldn’t leave the group, which is when she told him he had to get out of her house.

According to an incident report filed by Coeur d’Alene police about the arrests on Saturday, “Officers believed it likely the intent of these individuals was to incite physical confrontation and cause disorder … all 31 were arrested for conspiracy to riot.”

Related: Dozens of far right extremists squeezed into a U-Haul to go start a riot at Pride

The men came from 11 different states, including Illinois, Arkansas and Virginia. Another of those arrested was Thomas Rousseau, a 23-year-old from Grapevine, Texas, who has been identified as the Patriot Front founder.

Thomas Ryan Rousseau
Thomas Ryan Rousseau of Grapevine, Texas (Photo: Kootenai Country Sheriff’s Office)

Amsden says her son told her that anonymous donors bailed him and other members of the group arrested on Saturday.

Amsden says he informed her, ​​“Don’t believe the media, mom. We were just there because they’re grooming kids.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front is, “A white nationalist hate group that formed in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, of August 12, 2017. The organization broke off from Vanguard America (VA), a neo-Nazi group that participated in the chaotic demonstration.”

The group’s manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnostate. It sees black Americans, Jews and LGBTQ people as enemies, and argues that by protesting and rioting against these groups, it is preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of its members’ white, European ancestors.

Since news of the arrests on Saturday broke, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White says his department has received over 100 calls, including death threats from rightwing extremists. There have also been threats to publish online the addresses and phone numbers of cops involved with the arrests.