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Air Force vet accused in Capitol riot released; ordered to avoid social media

Protesters gather on the second day of pro-Trump events (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

When FBI special agents searched Larry Brock Jr.’s Grapevine apartment, they found hanging in a closet a jacket with red markings that resembles one in a photo that he has acknowledged shows him on the U.S. Senate floor last week as the legislative body was to certify the Electoral College vote.

In the trash was a patch, previously Velcroed to Brock’s body armor, that shows the Punisher, a comic character that has become a symbol of vigilante justice.

Brock had helpfully left on top of gun safes codes to access them, believing that law enforcement officers would want to open the empty containers.

At the end of a detention hearing on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton ordered Brock released from custody, but said he would be on a “short rope.” Cureton said that he may revisit the ruling if Brock does not comply with restrictions on possessing firearms, home detention, internet use or other matters, or is indicted on other crimes.

Brock, 53, was charged in U.S. District Court with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Cureton also ruled on Thursday that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had demonstrated there was probable cause to believe Brock had committed the crimes.

Brock merited release while awaiting trial because the charges are misdemeanors, he had turned himself in, and he had a “long, distinguished military career,” Cureton ruled.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer argued that Brock was a danger because he believed that he was participating in a civil war, intended to take hostages at the Capitol and may have injured government officials had they not evacuated the Senate chamber.

“He shouldn’t get credit for being a few minutes too late,” Weimer said.

The case, like others involving people who are alleged to have been involved in the Capitol intrusion, is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Federal Public Defender Brook Antonio said the crimes with which Brock has been charged were equivalent to trespassing. Although Weimer said that other riot participants possessed Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs and chanted that Vice President Mike Pence should be hanged, there was no evidence that Brock had been involved in those elements of the riot, Antonio argued.

Brock had until his role in the riot became public been employed by a private charter airline that operates from Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport and is an Air Force veteran.

FBI Special Agent John Moore testified that several U.S Capitol Police images show Brock inside the Capitol, and in some of the photos it appears that Brock has flex handcuffs.


(c) 2021 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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