UCLA student who sat in Pence’s Senate chamber chair charged in Capitol riot, DOJ says

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – A 22-year-old UCLA student captured on video storming the U.S. Capitol and sitting on the Senate chamber chair that had just been occupied by then-Vice President Mike Pence has been taken into custody in Costa Mesa, authorities announced Wednesday.

FBI agents arrested Christian Secor Tuesday morning on suspicion of the following violations: assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and aiding and abetting; civil disorder and aiding and abetting; obstructing an official proceeding; entering and remaining on restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

Secor on the day of his arrest made an initial appearance in federal court in Santa Ana, where a judge ordered him to be detained without bail.

According to court documents, at least 11 people tipped off authorities and identified Secor as one of the rioters who entered the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection that left five people dead.

Another UCLA student told authorities that Secor was the founder of a campus organization called “America First Bruins.” He’s known to “follow an extreme ideology” and invited white nationalists to speak at UCLA, another tipster said.

Others reported that Secor identified himself as a fascist, and that he has posted online threats and made open calls for the U.S. to become “a whites-only nation,” according to court documents. A Twitter user interviewed by the FBI said Secor participated in a recent rally in Huntington Beach, and that he belonged in a group of self-described “Groypers,” who push white supremacist views, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Secor went by the alias “scuffed Elliot Rodger,” an apparent reference to the Isla Vista mass shooter, the documents said.

Federal officials said surveillance video captured Secor during the insurrection pushing a doorway being blocked by at least three police officers to stop more people from entering.

The documents said “the doors opened, and dozens of additional rioters flooded into the building. The Capitol Police officers were shoved by the crowd, at times trapped between the doors and the crowd, and eventually pushed out of the way of the oncoming mob. Law enforcement’s efforts to keep out the additional rioters were frustrated by the crowd inside pushing on the doors, including SECOR.”

At some point, Secor sat on a chair that had just been occupied by Pence, an “America First” flag propped up behind him.

A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)
A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
A person identified by authorities as Christian Secor appears in an image included in charging documents against him in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

One person who personally knew Secor told authorities that upon his return from Washington, D.C., the 22-year-old moved back with his mother in Costa Mesa, “got rid of his phone and car and bragged that he would not be caught for his involvement at the U.S. Capitol,” according to the documents.

Law enforcement identified Secor while surveilling him between Jan. 25 and 28, observing him exiting his mother’s home and using a vehicle registered to his father.

Secor is among more than 200 men and women who have been charged in federal court in connection with the Capitol riot, at least 12 of them in California.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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