US: Jan. 6 participant arrested after California standoff
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal agents took a participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol into custody for his alleged role in the insurrection after an hourslong standoff Thursday, authorities said.
Eric Christie, 56, was arrested in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley, according to Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokesperson.
He initially refused to comply with federal agents’ orders but surrendered without incident after three hours of negotiations, Eimiller said. She would not comment on whether he was armed during the standoff.
Video and photographs from the insurrection, discovered by online sleuths, show Christie at the Capitol last year wrapped in a rainbow flag with a hammer attached to his belt, federal court documents state.
A video captured Christie yelling “this is our Capitol” into a bullhorn while the crowd rushes into the Capitol as police attempted to keep them back, according to court documents filed in connection with his California arrest.
A federal judge on Friday ordered Christie detained, according to Christie’s attorney, George Newhouse.
“We disagreed with the judge’s findings that he is a flight risk,” Newhouse said in an email to The Associated Press. “Mr. Christie will defend himself in Washington D.C. as he believes that his actions were within the zone of protection provided by the First Amendment.”
Christie’s arrest Thursday came the same day as the House Jan. 6 committee released its final report, concluding an 18-month investigation, asserting that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol.
Christie faces federal charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly weapon, as well as disorderly or disruptive conduct in restricted building or grounds with a deadly weapon, according to court documents.
NBC News first reported Christie’s arrest.