An Army veteran who taunted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “come out and play” after breaching the United States Capitol on January 6 said through his lawyers that he is willing to accept a plea deal for misdemeanor charges, but U.S. attorneys said his “scary behavior” called for more severe consequences.
During a hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said Gabriel Garcia was at “the very front of the crowd” that stormed the Capitol building earlier this year. After the demonstrators broke through a line of Capitol police, Garcia recorded himself goading Pelosi while inside the Capitol Rotunda, Law and Crime reported.
“Nancy, come out and play,” Garcia said, according to the complaint.
In the video, Garcia also calls for “Nancy” and demands “Free Enrique,” apparently referencing Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who was arrested on Jan 4.
A former U.S. Army captain and Florida statehouse candidate, Garcia uploaded several videos to Facebook during the Capitol riot.
The complaint stated that one of the other videos is nearly “five and a half minutes long and depicts an aggressive confrontation with U.S. Capitol Police officers, who are trying to prevent the crowd from advancing.”
“We just went ahead and stormed the Capitol,” Garcia said in the footage. “It’s about to get ugly.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Buckner said the government had offered Garcia a plea deal, but he had yet to accept it, adding that both parties have been in “fairly regular contact.” Buckner reportedly sounded uncertain as to whether they would reach an agreement.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asked prosecutors what differentiates Garcia’s case from other cases related to the Capitol storming.
“He wasn’t just part of the crowd of rioters that breached that police line, but he was at the front of the crowd,” Buckner said. “And then, after that line is breached with Mr. Garcia at the head of that line, he then goes up to the Rotunda, which is where he’s asking for Speaker Pelosi to ‘come out and play.’”
Buckner said Garcia’s behavior was “pretty significant and frankly scary.”
“That’s why we’re holding the line on those felony offers,” she said.
Garcia had previously requested that his pretrial release terms be changed because his ankle monitor interfered with his work as a general contractor.
“Since 2017 Mr. Garcia has been self-employed,” the request stated. “He owns a roofing business, ‘Supreme Aluminum Florida’ in Miami, and he is a general contractor. He oversees fourteen employees. The monitor around his ankle is unsafe and a work hazard. Also, the monitor has randomly started beeping loudly around potential clients, immediately followed by an embarrassing phone call from pretrial services asking for his exact location.”