Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio was arrested Monday, weeks after allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter banner during a Washington D.C. protest.
The city’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that Tarrio, 36, had been charged with destruction of property in connection with the December 12th incident, which occurred during a rally protesting President Trump’s November election defeat. According to USA Today, Tarrio was arrested while in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines and was also charged with “Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device.”
The Asbury United Methodist Church, the capital’s oldest black place of worship, claimed that a Black Lives Matter sign had been taken from the building and lit on fire. Earlier on Monday, as NBC News reports, the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church sued Tarrio and the Proud Boys over alleged destruction of a Black Lives Matter sign during the same protest.
The complaint, filed in Washington D.C. Superior Court, accuses Tarrio and eight unidentified members of “engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice.”
It alleges that the church was “terrorized through coordinated acts of violence when Proud Boys members climbed over a fence surrounding the Church, came on to the Church’s property and destroyed a large Black Lives Matter sign the Church was proudly displaying—attempting to silence the Church’s support for the racial justice movement with violent acts of trespass, theft and destruction of property.”
The suit describes the Proud Boys as an “all-male group with ties to white nationalism that glorifies and engages in violence against people and organizations that show support for racial and ethnic minorities, women, non-Christians and immigrants.”
It claims that the group “planned and coordinated their efforts” for “several months,” engaging in “inflammatory language” like “buy ammo” and “clean your guns.”
Tarrio reportedly told The Washington Post that he was responsible for destroying a Black Lives Matters banner. He added that, if a criminal charge was filed, he would plead guilty to destruction of property, pay the church for the banner, and surrender to authorities.