Hawaii Proud Boy Leader Nick Ochs Busted in Capitol Riot

·3 min read
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/Twitter
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/Twitter

Federal authorities have arrested Proud Boy Hawaii founder and alt-right media personality Nick Ochs in connection with the deadly pro-Trump rampage through the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

In an indictment unsealed in D.C. District Court, Ochs—who promotes his extremist opinions online as part of the “Murder the Media” podcasting and YouTube crew—is charged with trespassing into a restricted building.

Attempts to reach him were not immediately successful, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.

Multiple photos of Ochs participating in the mayhem appeared online and in the press during and after the attack on the Capitol—including a selfie Ochs shared on his Twitter account smoking a cigarette in the building.

The affidavit by a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent relies entirely on his own social media and an interview he did with CNN after the break-in, as well as his past public statements. It also notes his association with the Proud Boys.

Ochs’ “Murder the Media” group first circulated news of Ochs’ arrest on the social-media platform Parler, popular among partisans of the far-right, asserting he had attended the haphazard putsch as a journalist.

The Proud Boys echoed his claim on the messaging platform Telegram, another favorite of white supremacists and conservative provocateurs.

Ochs unsuccessfully sought a seat in Hawaii’s state legislature as a Republican last year. Trump adviser, felon, and fellow Proud Boy Roger Stone endorsed his campaign.

Democratic candidate Adrian Tam beat Ochs to represent District 22—covering Waikiki, Ala Moana, and Kakaako on Oahu—in the Hawaii House of Representatives. Tam won the seat with 63 percent of the vote and is now the only out LGBTQ representative in the statehouse.

During the campaign, Facebook deleted Ochs’ campaign page for violating terms of service and community standards, a move Ochs condemned.

“I am really grateful for our FBI and our authorities for working diligently to bring these people to justice,” Tam told The Daily Beast Friday. “I am disappointed it has escalated to this, and I hope that we start healing as a country, but that we do not normalize or sugarcoat this as anything less than an insurgence and an attack on our democracy.”

During the campaign, Tam said, Ochs “operated mostly online and mostly at large rallies with his own supporters. He didn’t engage with any of our community members. He never showed up to a single neighborhood board meeting. He’s all talk and no action.”

As to Ochs’ presence at the Capitol riot, Tam said, “I’m not surprised this has happened. I’m more surprised that the Republican Party already knew who this person is and stood by him during the entire election.” (On Twitter, since the riot, the Republican Party of Hawaii has criticized Tam but so far made no mention of Ochs’ alleged actions.)

“It was only the day after it was known he was part of this, and me calling them out on Twitter, that they denounced him,” Tam said. “Even then, they didn’t release a statement. They just told news anchors. That’s really sad. They should have denounced him the minute he was banned from Facebook during the election.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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