Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the far-right men’s group Proud Boys, was arrested Monday in Washington, DC, on suspicion of burning of a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historically Black church during violent protests in the city in December.
The Proud Boys have publicly supported President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and been involved in violent protests supporting his agenda.
Tarrio had arrived in Washington to take part in more protests against the certification of the presidential election this week, and has been blunt about his role in the Dec. 12 vandalism that spurred other clashes that resulted in four people being stabbed and another shot. Days later, he told the Washington Post he was the culprit.
“So let me make this simple. I did it,” he said.
Tarrio was reportedly on the phone with a USA Today reporter on Monday when he was pulled over and taken into custody.
“They’re for me,” USA Today reporter Will Carless said Tarrio told him over the phone.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department told BuzzFeed News the 36-year-old was arrested when he entered DC on a warrant for destruction of property charges.
Tarrio was also in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines when he was detained, police said.
Video of the protests on Dec. 12 show members of the group tearing down a Black Lives Matter banner at Asbury United Methodist Church.
Members of the group then cheered as they burned the banner and others chanted, “Fuck Antifa!” Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a decentralized movement that protests against the far-right, with some members occasionally resorting to violence.
Police at the time said they were investigating the vandalism as a possible hate crime.
Authorities in Washington are preparing for more violence on Wednesday, when the Senate is scheduled to certify the results of the Electoral College, and Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
After the election in November, at least one person was stabbed and 20 others were arrested during the “Million MAGA March,” where Proud Boys members were documented violently confronting counter-demonstrators.