Published On: Thu, Jan 21st, 2021

Former Army captain, Florida state house candidate arrested in Capitol riot


A former Army captain who ran for state office in Florida last year has been arrested in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

The man, Gabriel Augustin Garcia, uploaded videos to Facebook while inside the building during the riot, according to an FBI statement of facts.

“We just went ahead and stormed the Capitol. It’s about to get ugly,” Garcia says in a video, according to the document.

At other points, he is alleged to have encouraged people to “storm this s—,” called Capitol Police officers “traitors” and, while in the Rotunda, said, “Nancy come out and play,” according to the FBI statement, in an apparent reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

At another paint, Garcia is alleged to have said, “Free Enrique,” which the FBI agent wrote is thought to be a reference to the criminally charged Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio of Miami. It is not clear whether Garcia is a member of the far-right group.

Garcia is charged with one count each of certain acts during civil disorder, aiding and abetting; knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to court records.

Garcia, who was arrested Tuesday, was given a bond and would be freed from custody Thursday, his attorney Aubrey Webb said.

“As to the charges, under the Constitution, Mr. Garcia is entitled to due process of law as all Americans are — regardless of their political beliefs. Mr. Garcia fought for this country in the Army, in part, because he believed such constitutional protections were worth fighting for,” Webb said in an email. “And I will fight to protect him, his family, his career, and his reputation.”

Garcia, a former captain in the Army, ran as a Republican to be a state representative last year in the Miami-Dade area, NBC Miami reported. He lost in the primary by more than 17 percentage points, according to state election records.

The assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob occurred the same day Congress formally counted the electoral votes affirming President Joe Biden’s win. Biden was sworn in Wednesday.

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of inciting the riot by baselessly claiming that the election was stolen.

Authorities have said the riot led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

Trump last week was impeached for a second time by the Democratic-controlled House. The article of impeachment charges him with “incitement of insurrection,” and 10 Republicans voted against him.

It is the only time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached twice. It will be up to the Senate to decide whether to convict him.

There have been arrests all over the country since the riot. There is a sea of photos and video; a law enforcement official said Sunday that the number topped 150,000.

More than 100 people have been federally charged, according to the Justice Department. A department official said this week that there are more than 300 open FBI investigations.





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