- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2021

Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio said members of his group “messed up” for being among the mobs that breached the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, but he denied any of them planned the attack.

“I think it was a horrible idea to go into the Capitol,” Mr. Tarrio said Thursday while speaking to an NBC station in Florida. “It set the conservative party back,” added Mr. Tarrio, a Miami native.

Several known and alleged members of the Proud Boys, a mens-only group formed in 2016, were spotted among the mobs that stormed the Capitol and were accordingly charged with crimes in federal court.

Mr. Tarrio had planned to protest in Washington on the day the Capitol was stormed, but he was arrested shortly upon arriving in the city earlier in the week and subsequently ordered to leave town.

Speaking to the NBC station, Mr. Tarrio said that authorities “should have had the tools available to stop” the breach of the Capitol, which happened as members of Congress met inside the complex to count the electoral votes certifying President Biden to be the winner of the recent White House race.

“But now, because they didn’t stop it, now they have to answer to the Senate. And they need heads on a pike. And the Proud Boys aren’t just going to lay down and take it,” Mr. Tarrio told the station.

“We’re going to hire the best lawyers. We’re going to fight it because we know we didn’t coordinate it. We know seven individuals messed up. We know that. But to overcharge these guys is an assault on the American people,” added Mr. Tarrio, who briefly ran as a Republican for a Florida congressional seat in 2020 but was unsuccessful.

Among the more than 300 people charged so far in connection with the rioting on Capitol Hill are several leading, self-identifying members of the Proud Boys from various parts of the country.

Nicholas R. Ochs, the founder of the Proud Boys chapter in Hawaii — and a former Republican candidate for the state legislature — faces charges including conspiracy, theft and destruction of federal property. Ethan Nordean, the self-proclaimed leader of the group’s Seattle chapter, and Joseph Randall Biggs, a Proud Boys organizer from Florida, also face charges related to entering the building, as do several people from the Kansas City area and New York state believed to be members, for example.

In a court filing last month, the government alleged Mr. Nordean, also known as Rufio Panman, “helped plan, helped lead and participated in the Proud Boys‘ participation in the riot at the Capitol.”

More recently, a federal judge ordered Mr. Nordean to be released from custody Wednesday, ruling prosecutors failed to prove he would pose a danger to the community or would flee if freed before his trial.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide