POLITICS

Alleged Capitol Rioter's Massive Stomach Tattoo Aids Arrest

The suspect lifted his shirt during the Jan. 6 insurrection, putting his "KING JAMES" belly ink on display.

A man who lifted his shirt during the Capitol riot has been arrested after investigators identified his distinctive “KING JAMES” belly tattoo, which happened to match an old police booking photo.

James Burton McGrew was arrested Friday in Glendale, Arizona, on charges that include civil disorders, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; obstructing an official proceeding; engaging in physical violence and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer.

McGrew can be seen in social media and police body camera videos of the Jan. 6 insurrection both outside and inside the Capitol, including in the Rotunda, an FBI agent asserted in an affidavit filed last week supporting a warrant for McGrew’s arrest.

In one police bodycam video, McGrew lifted his shirt to wipe his eyes, putting the stomach tattoo on display, authorities said. The “KING JAMES” belly ink was on file from a booking photo from a 2012 arrest on unspecified charges. 

McGrew aggressively confronted police officers during the Trump mob violence, shouting, “We’re coming in here, whether you like it or not,” and “Fight with us, not against us,” the affidavit said.

Inside the Rotunda, McGrew lunged to strike a police officer during the mob’s clashes with law enforcement, photos included in the FBI affidavit show. He’s accused of striking police twice and trying to take an officer’s baton. 

A tipster identified McGrew to the FBI a day after the riot. That person said McGrew revealed he planned to travel to Washington on Jan. 6 to “protest” the “stolen vote.” A second person also contacted authorities after seeing McGrew in photos, according to the affidavit. 

More than 400 defendants have been charged in the months following the Capitol attack. Hundreds more arrests are likely as authorities pore over tips and images from the riot.