The leader of the far-right, neo-fascist Proud Boys was released from police custody on Tuesday and ordered to leave Washington, D.C., until his next hearing in June.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested Monday upon his arrival in the nation’s capital on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn from a historic Black church in D.C. during protests last month. Tarrio took credit for the decision to vandalize church property, revealing that he was “damn proud” to have done it.
According to the police report, when the Metropolitan Police Department pulled Tarrio over on the warrant for vandalizing the church, they found two unloaded magazines embossed with the Proud Boys logo. Tarrio told the police that he was carrying the magazines for a customer who had purchased them from him.
“I sell, so just so you guys know, on my site, I sell mags … I had a customer that bought those two mags, and they got returned ’cause it was a wrong address,” Tarrio revealed in court documents obtained by Right Wing Watch. “And I contacted him, and he’s like, ‘I’m going to be in DC,’ so I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll take ‘em to you.’ So that I can show you proof of—just so you guys won’t be like, ‘holy fuck’… I can give you, like my invoices and stuff like that from it, and, like, the USPS shipping label.”
Tarrio, 36, was charged with destruction of property and two felony counts of possession of high-capacity firearm magazines.
When Tarrio appeared in court on Tuesday, a judge ordered him to leave the District of Columbia and banned him from returning except for limited exceptions such as meeting with his attorney or appearing in court.
Tarrio’s arrest took place ahead of another round of protests in Washington this week when Congress meets to certify the results of the Electoral College. The National Guard has been deployed in the capital ahead of the planned protests on Jan. 6, as several pro-Trump and far-right groups are expected to attend, including the Proud Boys, whom Tarrio claimed would “turn out in record numbers.” Tarrio himself was expected to speak at a pro-Trump rally on Jan. 5 but was arrested shortly beforehand. Radical right-wing pastor Greg Locke prayed for him during the event.
The leader of the Proud Boys hate group is also being sued by the 150-year-old Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, another historic Black church in D.C., which claims that the Proud Boys were engaging in “acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for radical justice.” While Tarrio admitted to vandalizing the Asbury United Methodist Church, it is not clear if he was involved in the vandalism of AME.