Federal authorities have arrested a Donald Trump supporter caught on video bragging about macing police at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Samuel Lazar, who was arrested in Pennsylvania on Monday, spent the months after the Capitol attack attending political events in support of the former president and his political allies. The case against him was unsealed on Tuesday.
Lazar faces felony charges, including assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers as well as obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. He also faces a charge of knowingly entering and remaining on restricted grounds.
Lazar has been featured in at least half a dozen photos with Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator who helped spread Trump’s lies about a stolen election and even chartered buses to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 using campaign cash. Mastriano and Lazar were pictured together on numerous occasions before the Capitol attack and were most recently photographed posing together at an event for Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in May (at that time, Lazar’s photograph was featured on the FBI’s website).
Mastriano, who is reportedly weighing a run for governor, entered restricted Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 and was near Trump supporters who broke down barricades around the Capitol building.
In early June, Lazar showed up wearing a “Back the Blue” T-shirt to an event that featured Mastriano. Lazar’s siblings later posted a statement and video on Facebook suggesting that Mastriano had sought to keep his distance from the family because of their brother’s actions.
Lazar was first featured in a Jan. 10 story by Lancaster Online that chronicled some of his activities during the Capitol attack. The story didn’t feature any photographs of Lazar, so it wasn’t until later that online sleuths recognized him as the man they’d labeled #FacePaintBlowhard.
Online sleuths surfaced video of Lazar encouraging the mob to push against police lines, trying to snatch away a barrier protected by a line of police officers while holding a bottle of what appeared to be mace, and helping the mob use a giant Trump sign as a bludgeon against the police line.
Later, Lazar was recorded saying that the crowd “maced ’em [law enforcement officers] right the fuck back” and talking about how the mob should “hang these motherfuckers” in the Capitol building, whom he called “tyrants.”
Lazar’s sister, who accompanied her brother to D.C. and was standing beside him as he bragged about how the mob maced cops “right the fuck back,” said in a Facebook video in early June that it was unfair for people to presume someone guilty until they had been convicted in court. One of Lazar’s brothers, a military veteran, said that people loved Trump because he didn’t bend to media pressure and accusations.
“Do you know why people love Trump and continue to love him? He did not kowtow to accusations,” the brother said. “He said ‘Bring it.’”
CORRECTION: Court records originally indicated Lazar was arrested last week, but the Justice Department said his arrest took place on Monday, July 26.