‘Proud Boys Hawaii’ founder arrested after returning to Honolulu following US Capitol riots

Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:23 PM HST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - The founder of “Proud Boys Hawaii,” who was among the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, has been arrested.

The FBI arrested Nick Ochs on Thursday night at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport upon his return from Washington, D.C.

A criminal complaint charged Ochs with one count of unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds.

CNN earlier identified Ochs — who’s part of the “Proud Boys,” a far-right extremist group — as one of several alleged instigators of the mob.

Ochs tweeted a photo of himself smoking a cigarette with the caption, “Hello from the Capital lol.”

According to the complaint, he told a CNN reporter, “We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed” despite rioters violently pushing through barriers and shoving officers.

Once inside, he told CNN, “There were thousands of people in there. They had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”

Ochs did not return calls from Hawaii News Now but told CNN he was working as professional journalist. And while he was in the Capitol, he told the network that he didn’t enter the chambers or any congressional offices.

Ochs was also spotted in a large maskless crowd in the Capitol building.

“The pictures I saw seem to show me that he wasn’t distancing himself as a journalist from the mob, from the invaders,” said Colin Moore, Hawaii News Now’s political analyst.

Ochs ran for state House of Representatives as a Republican last year.

“It does not surprise me. This is a person who has made offensive remarks about the Jewish community, women, the LGBT community, immigrants, Muslims, you name it, he’s made fun of it,” said state Rep. Adrian Tam, who represents Waikiki and beat Ochs in the November general election.

Late Thursday, Hawaii Republican Party Chair Shirlene Ostrov disavowed Ochs.

Ochs is being at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court next week.

This story will be updated.

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