A SUSPECTED “Proud Boy” accused of plotting further violence in the wake of Capitol riots has been arrested in “shocking” scenes outside his New York home.
Eduard Florea, 40, was called out of his home in Middle Village by police before emerging on the street and surrendering peacefully in Queens on Tuesday night, according to NY Daily News.
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Florea was arrested in Middle Village, Queens on Tuesday afternoon
Florea surrendered to federal agents after they showed up in an armored vehicle
He has been charged as a convicted felon in possession of ammunition
“It was nuts. A tank was going down the street. I couldn’t believe it, especially in a quiet neighborhood like this,” one neighbor told the outlet.
Another resident who also witnessed the arrest described the incident as shocking.
“That shocked the heck out of me,” she said, according to NY Daily News.
“I came outside out of the basement (to see what was going on). An FBI guy yelled at me to get inside.
“He stopped mid-street. They got him.
“Not much later, a woman went out with two little kids. I actually feel sorry for the kids. They looked scared to death.”
Florea reportedly surrendered peacefully
The FBI conducted a raid of his home after he allegedly posted plans to travel to the Washington, D.C. with armed protesters online
Federal authorities arrested the self-professed member of white supremacist group the Proud Boys on a weapons possession charge after he allegedly made online threats about traveling to DC following the siege on the US Capitol, according to law enforcement.
Shocked neighbors snapped photographs of the arrest, which saw an armored FBI vehicle – with an armed agent on top – roll down 76th St. near Eliot Ave. as part of the operation to take Florea into custody.
One of the images taken by a witness shows a blurry image of Florea, a father-of-two, with his hands raised in the middle of 76th St.
Florea is not believed to have taken part in last Wednesday’s insurrection that resulted in the deaths of five people, but had allegedly discussed plans for further unrest on social media, police say.
A supporter of US President Donald Trump wears a gas mask and holds a bust of himCredit: AFP or licensors
A tactical team gathers in the Rotunda Credit: AP:Associated Press
Some of the postings allegedly referred to organizing an armed caravan to head to Washington D.C. following the protests, two senior law enforcement officials said, according to NBC.
It’s unclear where exactly he had posted the threats or whether he had managed to recruit participants for the alleged trip.
According to law enforcement sources, records show the man has threatened to kill others in the past and had been convicted on a weapons charge in Staten Island in 2014, NY Daily News reports.
He was sentenced to a year behind bars on that charge after police found more than two dozen weapons in his possession, a senior law enforcement official said.
The Proud Boys is an alt-right organization that was launched in New York City in 2016 and has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with policeCredit: Reuters
The siege took place during the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election resultsCredit: Alamy Live News
Florea is reported of having ties to white supremacist group Proud Boys
They have appeared alongside other alt-right groups at extremist gatherings, including the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2018 that left counter-protester Heather Heyer dead and 19 others injured.
Members of the Proud Boys have often expressed their support of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Florea’s arrest came as members of Congress voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection – a week after the deadly riots left five dead.
At least six GOP members – Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Dan Newhouse of Washington, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – have all said they will vote to impeach Trump.
National Guard members gathered outside the Capitol on WednesdayAnti-Trump protesters in DC as the House was voting on his impeachmentPro-Trump supporters have descended on the Capitol
Security has been heightened at the political hub after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week while the Electoral College were casting votes on the 2020 election.
The FBI has warned of the potential for further political unrest as further armed protests are expected to take place in Washington and other states loyal to Trump.
The president this week approved a Washington D.C. emergency declaration from January 11 to January 24 which orders federal assistance to aid the city’s response efforts.
The Washington Monument has been closed to the public and the west steps of the Capitol are off-limits to the public ahead of Biden’s inauguration.
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