UCLA Student Arrested for Alleged Role in US Capitol Riots

Christian Secor, well-known at UCLA for his extreme ideology, was seen parading an America First flag around the Capitol and sitting in Mike Pence’s chair.

In a DOJ affidavit, Christian Secor is seen in the Capitol holding a blue America First flag. (Credit: DOJ)

WASHINGTON (CN) — UCLA student Christian Secor was arrested Tuesday and charged for his alleged participation in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photos show Secor sitting in the chair that Mike Pence was sitting earlier that day and pushing against doors blocked by Capitol Police. 

Secor, 22, was arrested Tuesday morning at a residence in Costa Mesa, California, after FBI agents searched his home, according to FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller. In a federal court in Orange County later that day, the judge ordered that Secor be detained without bail. 

According to an FBI tipster who knows Secor, when Secor got back from D.C., he moved back in with his mother in Costa Mesa, got rid of his phone and bragged that he wouldn’t be caught. 

Secor was identified by at least 11 people who tipped off the FBI, including his fellow students at UCLA. A self-proclaimed fascist, Secor was well-known at UCLA for organizing an ultra-right campus organization called “America First Bruins,” and posting white supremist views on social media, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Benjamin Elliott.

Federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. have charged Secor with assaulting or resisting police officers, violent entry, remaining on restricted grounds, civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding.

In video footage and photos from the Capitol, Secor is seen sitting in Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate chamber, and then parading a blue “America First” flag all around the Capitol: through the hallway, East Corridor, Senate Gallery, Rotunda and Gallery stairs. 

He is identified by tan pants, an American flag shirt, a black jacket, black gloves and a Make America Great Again hat with stickers and the letters “AF” on the bill, according to the FBI. In one of the videos, Secor is among a group of rioters that attempted to push through double doors blocked by three officers. 

The FBI used database searches, internet searches, witness interviews and reporting from another law enforcement agency to confirm that Secor was the person identified by tipsters from the photos and videos. They also placed Secor under surveillance from Jan 25-28 before arresting him on Tuesday. 

During their investigation, the FBI found that Secor had posted threats online, openly posted calls for the United States to become a whites-only nation and invited white nationalists to speak at engagements on campus. 

His Twitter account has a photo of him shaking hands with a public figure known for making racist statements and denying the Holocaust, describing fascism as “epic” and valorizing the 2017 Charlottesville march, which had anti-semitic chants. 

On DLive, a video-live streaming service used by other defendants at the Capitol riots, Secor used the alias, “Scuffed Elliot Rodger,” believed to be a reference to the 2014 Isla Vista mass murderer and University of California Santa Barbara student who fatally stabbed his three roommates, according to the affidavit.

In an email, UCLA spokesperson Bill Kisliuk said information about Secor isn’t available to the public. 

“What I can tell you is that UCLA believes the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol was an attack on our democracy,” Kisliuk said. “As an institution, UCLA is committed to mutual respect, making decisions based on evidence and using rational debate and not physical violence.”

More than 225 people have been charged in connection with the breach and insurrection, according to a database maintained by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. At least 15 of them have been from California. 

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