Enrique Tarrio, the head of the white nationalist Proud Boys, was arrested Monday on charges of property destruction after a Black Lives Matter banner was ripped down from a Black church during a protest last month in Washington, D.C.
Tarrio, of Miami, was arrested on a warrant for “property destruction“ when he returned to Washington, said a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. The address for the vandalism was the same as the church where the Black Lives Matter banner was burned.
When he was apprehended, he was carrying two “high-capacity firearm magazines,” which led to illegal possession charges, the D.C. police statement added.
Tarrio told The Washington Post last month that he was one of Proud Boys who ripped a Black Lives Matter banner from Asbury United Methodist Church and torched it. The vandalism occurred during a Dec. 12 protest against the presidential election results. Tarrio has been charged with one misdemeanor count of destruction of property, the Post reported.
The arrest comes two days before the all-male Proud Boys group is expected to take part in a “Wild Protest” in Washington over Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential election. Tarrio, using a military phrase, vowed last week in a message on the right-wing Parler social media platform that there would be 1,000 Proud Boys “boots on the ground” at the protest. He also warned that the members of the group would not be wearing their signature black and yellow uniforms but would go “incognito” to avoid detection.
Four Black churches were vandalized during the Dec. 12 protest.
A police spokesman told the Post after those attacks that an investigation was continuing and that investigators considered the destruction to be a potential hate crime.