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New York's Capitol attackers: Queens Republican leader cuffed for alleged role in Jan. 6 coup attempt | amNewYork

New York’s Capitol attackers: Queens Republican leader cuffed for alleged role in Jan. 6 coup attempt

Philip Grillo, who calls himself "The Republican Messiah" on his Facebook page, was arrested in Glen Oaks, Queens on Feb. 23, 2021 for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
Photo via Facebook

So far, federal agents have arrested at least seven New York City residents in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol coup attempt that sought to stop the peaceful transition of power from one president to another.

The latest arrest came on Feb. 23, when Philip Grillo, 46, was picked up at his girlfriend’s home in Glen Oaks, Queens. Grillo is a Republican district leader who made a failed attempted at running in the recent special election for the vacant 24th City Council District seat, according to the Queens Daily Eagle.

A source with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said that Grillo was identified through his Knights of Columbus jacket, which he apparently wore while allegedly participating in the violent Capitol attack that left five people, including a Capitol police officer, dead.

He’s expected to be arraigned Feb. 23 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn; further details are forthcoming on amNY.com.

Grillo’s name was added to a growing list of arrested suspects that include both those who actively participated in the attack on the heart of American democracy, as well as sympathizers who made online threats to harm or kill individuals in the immediate aftermath of the assault.

Prosecutors said they were part of the organized assault by Trump supporters, white supremacists and unhinged conspiracy theorists who converged upon Washington, DC on Jan. 6 seeking to stop the Congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump in last November’s election.

Here are profiles of some of the other New Yorkers arrested in connection with the Capitol coup:

‘People died … but it was f***ing great’

Samuel Fisher (aka Brad Holiday) of the Upper East Side was photographed taking part in the Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt on the U.S. Capitol and arrested by federal agents on Jan. 20, 2021.Photos courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

The loss of life and the violent destruction at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 didn’t seem to dampen the apparent joy Samuel Fisher felt in allegedly participating in the attack, according to federal prosecutors.

Fisher, who also goes by his online alias of Brad Holiday, was picked up on the Upper East Side on Jan. 20 for his alleged role in the Capitol attack. An investigation into his social media activity found that he went to Washington prepared for combat, and seemed to brag about the assault on American democracy afterward.

Prosecutors said that Fisher, who works as an online dating coach and has a website filled with anti-government conspiracy theory rants, brought “multiple firearms and a bulletproof vest” with him to the Capitol coup attempt on Jan. 6.

In the days leading up to the attack, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Fisher made a number of statements on Facebook indicating that he would be there along with “a million” so-called “patriots,” and armed for a standoff.

On Dec. 31, he allegedly wrote that “they cant arrest us all man” (sic) and “i’d exercise my 2A legal rights there” (sic). The 2A is a coded reference to the Second Amendment, which ensures the right to bear arms.

On Jan. 3, Fisher allegedly wrote that “real patriots will fall upon the capital in protest” and that he “just booked my room” in Washington. Between Jan. 5 and 6, Fisher acknowledged being in DC in Facebook posts.

Before the Jan. 6 assault, Fisher posted a photo of an assault rifle and a handgun that he allegedly brought with him, then wrote, “I’m going to the parking garage super early… leaving s**t in there maybe except pistol… “and if it kicks off I got a vest and my rifle.”

On his website, Fisher allegedly published on Jan. 5 a post saying he was in Washington, DC for the so-called “Stop the Steal” rally and outlined a violent scenario for Jan. 6.

“If there are over 1 million patriots that show up tomorrow for trumps (sic) 11 am speech. At 1 when congress certifies the election (sic)… Trump just needs to fire the bat signal… deputize patriots… and then the pain comes. 1 Million Pissed off men with guns… bad idea (sic). We aren’t looking to fight or hurt anyone… but the odds that this is going to be solved any other way… is next to nothing,” Fisher allegedly wrote in the post.

The following day, Jan. 7, Fisher allegedly wrote on Facebook that he was there, “it was awesome…” and that “people died… but if was f***ing great if you ask me… i got tear gassed and pepper sprayed (sic)… seeing cops literally run … was the coolest thing ive ever seen in my life.”

Upon arresting Fisher on Jan. 20, federal agents recovered several firearms and a bulletproof vest in his possession, according to Law and Crime. He’s currently being held without bail.

From ‘Back the Blue’ to cop-killing coup

A man who appears to be Dominick Madden was photographed at a “Back the Blue” rally in Gerritsen Beach in August.Photo by Todd Maisel

On Jan. 21, Dominick Madden, 43, was picked up by the FBI at his Sheepshead Bay home. Madden, a New York City Sanitation worker and QAnon sympathizer, was caught on camera in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 waving a Trump flag and shouting the QAnon slogan, while wearing a QAnon sweater.

Madden was later caught on camera that same afternoon inside the Capitol entering the building along with thousands of other invaders and walking through the Rotunda and Senate wing. 

The Brooklyn resident had been involved in a “Back the Blue” rally in Gerritsen Beach last summer, and was photographed there wearing a QAnon t-shirt. The Capitol riot, in which Madden allegedly participated, resulted in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was beaten to death by members of the angry mob.

Federal agents were able to track Madden down after being flagged by the city’s Department of Investigation. They were able to find all the evidence that Madden was in DC for the Capitol coup.

According to prosecutors, Madden had admitted to being on sick leave on Jan. 6 and for being away from home while absent from his duties at the Sanitation Department. Federal agents obtained records from highway authorities in Maryland and New Jersey which revealed that Madden’s vehicle had traveled through these states southbound to Washington on Jan. 5, and then northbound to New York on Jan. 7.

Madden has been suspended without pay by the Sanitation Department, pending the ongoing investigation.

Previous arrests

Aaron Mostofsky, as he storms the US Capitol building.Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office

Other New York City individuals arrested as part of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Capitol coup attempt are the following:

  • Brendan Hunt, 37, of Ridgewood, Queens wasn’t at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but was arrested Jan. 19 for allegedly making violent social media threats against prominent Democrats before and after the attack. Hunt, a part-time filmmaker and now-suspended employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration, allegedly took to Facebook in December and January to call for the public execution of elected officials. 
  • Nicolas Moncada, 20, of Staten Island was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, as shown on video posted to Instagram and Twitter. His image, taken from inside the Rotunda, was recognized two days after the attack by members of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s campus security unit, where Moncada is a student. FBI agents picked up Moncada on Jan. 18.
  • Eduard Florea, 40, of Middle Village, Queens wound up in federal custody on Jan. 13 after he allegedly made violent threats on social media after the Capitol attack. Florea, an alleged Proud Boys associate, was not in Washington for the assault, but on the same day posted on Parler that “New York is target rich” and called for an armed caravan to go to Washington and spark another attack. Previously convicted of a felony, Florea was also found in possession of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition when agents raided his home.
  • Aaron Mostofsky, 34, of Brooklyn was arrested on Jan. 12 after he was caught on camera inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 attack, wearing a fur costume and holding a riot shield apparently wrested away from a Capitol Police officer. Mostofsky, the son of Brooklyn Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, was also seen wearing a bulletproof vest during the incident, apparently also taken from a Capitol cop. 

More arrests are expected in the weeks and months to come as the FBI’s nationwide investigation continues. Anyone with information regarding individuals who were involved in the Jan. 6 attack, or who made violent online threats against public officials, should call 800-CALL-FBI or visit fbi.gov/USCapitol.

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