Trump Obsessed ‘Proud Boy’ Finally Arrested For Jan. 6 Attack

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A Maryland man who apparently touted support for the violent, far-right organization known as the Proud Boys and assaulted law enforcement and a member of the media at last year’s Capitol riot has been arrested.

The individual, 55-year-old Rodney Kenneth Milstreed, faces federal criminal charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and simple assault. That version of the assault on law enforcement charge alone seems to carry a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years if found guilty, although significantly shorter sentences are possible. Early in the afternoon on the day of the riot, at around 1:10 p.m., Milstreed “picked up what appeared to be a flagpole and threw it, javelin-style, in the direction of [police] officers, striking one officer,” the Justice Department says. Later, he hurled an apparent smoke grenade towards police after an officer threw it towards a portion of the rioting crowd.

As for the assault on a member of the media, the targeted individual was apparently “wearing a lanyard displaying credentials and carrying at least one camera and a backpack,” again according to the Justice Department. Milstreed grabbed onto the individual’s backpack and yanked him backwards down some stairs before pushing the target and moving his direction in a threatening manner. This assault was potentially targeted — Milstreed later remarked to an unidentified individual cited only as “Witness 1” in a court document “that he had assaulted a member of the news media.” According to that same document: “Prior to January 6, 2021, MILSTREED also made comments that were violent in nature concerning the events that would occur that day, including claiming allegiance to the Proud Boys and informing of their intended presence and intent to quash any opposition in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.”

While the full extent of Milstreed’s connection to the organization is unclear, members of the Proud Boys were involved in what happened that day. Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the then-national leader of the group, wasn’t physically present — in connection to legal proceedings over matters including his involvement in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a church in the city, he wasn’t permitted to freely enter D.C. — but he and other members of the group have since been charged with criminal conspiracy and other federal offenses in relation to the Capitol riot. Individuals involved with the Proud Boys prepared for violence as January 6 approached.

Recently, North Carolina resident and prominent Proud Boys member Charles Donohoe pleaded guilty to offenses including criminal conspiracy connected to the riot and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, which would entail steps such as providing information. “At least as early as Jan. 4, 2021, Donohoe was aware that the Ministry of Self Defense’s leaders were discussing the possibility of storming the Capitol,” the Justice Department said. (The Ministry of Self Defense was a special chapter of the Proud Boys. If it still exists is unclear.) “Donohoe understood from discussions that the Proud Boys would pursue their objective through the use of force and violence.” Before January 6, it wasn’t just a general plan for violence — it was a specific discussion of potentially breaching the Capitol, something in which Donohoe later participated. Specifically, Donohoe’s admitted offenses include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.

Featured image: Brett Davis, available under a Creative Commons license