Proud boy organiser arrested over riot at Capitol


Two Florida men, including a self-described organiser for the far-right Proud Boys, have been arrested on charges of taking part in the siege of the US Capitol.

Joseph Biggs, 37, was arrested in central Florida and faces charges of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, entering a restricted area on the grounds of the US Capitol and disorderly conduct.

According to an arrest affidavit, Biggs was part of a crowd that overwhelmed Capitol Police officers on January 6 who were manning a metal barrier on the steps of the Capitol.

The mob entered the building as politicians were certifying US President Joe Biden’s election win.

Biggs appeared to be wearing a walkie-talkie during the storming of the Capitol, but he told FBI agents that he had no knowledge about the planning of the destructive riot and did not know who organised it, the affidavit said.

Ahead of the riot, Biggs told his followers on social media app Parler to dress in black to resemble the far-left antifa movement, according to the affidavit.

Biggs had organised a 2019 rally in Portland, Oregon, in which more than 1,000 far-right protesters and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators faced off.

The Proud Boys are a neo-fascist group known for engaging in violent clashes at political rallies.

During a September presidential debate, Mr Trump had urged them to “stand back and stand by” when asked to condemn them by a moderator.

An online court docket did not indicate whether Biggs has a lawyer who could comment.

Jesus Rivera, 37, was also arrested on Wednesday in Pensacola and faces charges of knowingly entering a restricted building, intent to impede government business, disorderly conduct and demonstrating in the Capitol buildings.

Rivera uploaded a video to Facebook showing himself in the US Capitol crypt, authorities said.

The five-minute video ends with Rivera starting to climb out a window at the Capitol, according to an arrest affidavit.

An online court docket also did not list a lawyer for Rivera.


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