A man suspected of being connected with Antifa was arrested by federal law enforcement officials, according to Fox News.
Court documents describe the suspect, Jason Charter, as the “ringleader” of statue vandals who is caught in video and photograph evidencing lighting a cigarette using flames from the burning monument, the report says.
He is accused of orchestrating the destruction of federal property in Washington, D.C. with an attack on the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square.
Charter was arrested at his home on Thursday, Fox News reported.
“They were very organized,” a federal law enforcement official said.
“Charter was on top of the statue and directing people… They had acid, chisels, straps and a human chain preventing police from getting to the statue,” the official added.
Charter was charged with destruction of federal property.
President Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments and statues in the nation.
“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials and Statues- and combating recent Criminal Violence,” the president wrote to Twitter.
“Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020
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Problematically for Charter, the FBI goes on to allege that at points, Charter was photographed in both instances without any face coverings.
And Lieutenant Jason Bagshaw of the Metropolitan Police Department told the FBI he has interacted with Charter on numerous occasions and was able to positively identify him. Charter has “called Lieutenant Bagshaw on his cell phone to discuss these matters on a regular basis, and Charter even rode with Lieutenant Bagshaw to a convenience store following a protest in June of 2020,” according to the FBI.
Park authorities went online on June 26 and “observed a white male being physically assaulted by a male dressed in black, wearing a black helmet, red goggles, and holding a blue cane” in a video they found.
“In the comments section underneath the video, the male in black was identified as Jason Charter,” the FBI goes on. “Officers were able to locate the Twitter account belonging to Jason Charter.”
“Further investigation revealed that on June 20, 2020, shortly after the destruction of the Pike Statue, Charter posted an image on his Twitter page of the Pike Statue on fire with the caption, ‘Tearing down statues of traitors to the nation is a service to this nation not a crime,'” according to the charging documents. “Law enforcement has also identified a Facebook account belonging to Charter where he posts images at 1:50 a.m. on June 20, 2020, of the Albert Pike Statue burning on the ground, along with the caption, ‘Death to all Confederate Statues.'”
The Twitter account that the FBI alleges belongs to Carter was still online Thursday afternoon. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross pointed to a tweet, apparently since deleted, in which Charter apparently confuses fetal alcohol syndrome with alcoholism.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 27, 2020