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FBI identifies ex-Marine from Biloxi by his ‘King James’ tattoo after US Capitol riot

Protesters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on on Jan. 6, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

A Mississippi man’s unique tattoo is what gave his identity away after he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and attacked several members of law enforcement.

The FBI was able to identify Biloxi resident James McGrew, 40, by matching up a video of his stomach tattoo with a previous booking mugshot, according to a federal complaint filed with the Department of Justice.

McGrew is a former U.S. Marine who spent time at Camp Lejuene military base in North Carolina from 2003-2007, according to records and McGrew’s LinkedIn Page. He also worked as a groundskeeper at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs campus in Biloxi.

In video footage retrieved by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, a man later identified as McGrew “lifted his shirt to wipe his eyes, displaying a stomach tattoo,” the complaint says.

The phrase “KING JAMES” is inked in large block letters across McGrew’s abdomen. McGrew was also captured on several other videos from the day of the Capitol riots, both inside and outside of the building. He wore a gray and black jacket over a white T-shirt.

The FBI received tips the day after the riots that also helped identify McGrew. One tipster said McGrew was traveling to Washington D.C. on January 6 to “protest” the “stolen vote.”

In May 2022, McGrew admitted to assaulting several police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Here’s a look at the timeline of events from that day involving the Biloxian, according to federal documents.

— He was one of many rioters who overwhelmed law enforcement attempting to prevent them from advancing onto the Capitol grounds.

— He entered the Capitol through terrace doors, shooting video of the scene. He could be heard shouting, “let’s go” approximately 14 times, along with “we took this thing.”

— McGrew pushed one officer and struck another in the Capitol’s Rotunda at 2:45 p.m.

— Two minutes later, McGrew struck another officer and lunged for his baton.

— At one point while inside the Capitol, a police officer calmly told McGrew, “Just leave man, come on,” according to the complaint. McGrew screamed back, “You leave. You leave. This is our house.”

— While trying to re-gain access to the Capitol through a tunnel being blocked by law enforcement later that day, McGrew threw a wooden handrail with metal brackets as tall as he was, striking one officer.

— Once police again pushed rioters outside of the Capitol at 4:20 p.m.

McGrew was arrested four months after the riot in Arizona. He will serve three years of supervised released after his time in prison and must pay a $5,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution.

On the Mississippi Coast, McGrew also faced felony charges in Harrison County in 2014, including possession with intent to manufacture, shoplifting and vehicle theft.


(c) 2023 The Sun Herald

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