A Florida man arrested for allegedly breaking into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and hitting a police officer inside is himself a former cop who joined the Proud Boys while still serving on the force, chat logs tied to the far-right group reveal.
Nathan Tuck, 29, was arrested this week in connection with the storming of the Capitol, as was his father, Kevin. The elder Tuck was a police officer with the Windermere, Florida, police department until he resigned after his arrest on Thursday. Nathan Tuck, meanwhile, served as a police officer in Apopka, Florida, until September 2020. Following his arrest, the Apopka Police Department released a statement noting that Tuck was not on the force during the Capitol riot.
“Mr. Tuck was employed by the Apopka Police Department as a full-time police officer from March 19, 2018 to August 22, 2020,” the Apopka Police Department statement read. “Mr. Tuck resigned from the Apopka Police Department as a full-time police officer, but remained a reserve officer from August 22, 200 to September 18, 2020. Mr. Tuck was not employed by the Apopka Police Department at the time of the incident that led to his arrest.”
The younger Tuck was, however, a police officer when he filed an application to join the Proud Boys, according to chat logs reviewed by The Daily Beast. In that application, in the summer of 2019, Tuck indicated that he wished to join the far-right paramilitary group because he hoped to beat up opponents on the left.
Tuck’s Proud Boy affiliations were also reported by Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay shortly before the publication of this story.
On an application that included his name, location, and photograph, Tuck wrote that he wanted to join the Proud Boys “because I see an increase in radical leftist ideology that is beginning to effect [sic] my life. I don't want to stand by while the very foundation of America is being eroded by insane communists. And also I want to fight Antifa.”
Public records show that Nathan Tuck obtained a license to sell insurance in Sept. 2020. When reached by phone at the Apopka, Florida, number associated with that insurance license, a man told The Daily Beast Friday that the number was not Tuck’s. Tuck did not return a request for comment at his business email address. Shortly after that email was sent, a person using Tuck’s number called back and stayed on the line briefly, making fumbling noises as if struggling with the phone, before hanging up again.
Two minutes after that call, a person in a Proud Boys channel on Telegram pasted a screenshot of an Android log, showing that this reporter had called them. The person asked readers to call the number, but Tuck himself did not return subsequent texts or emails.
Tuck’s attorney declined to comment for this story. The Apopka Police Department did not immediately return The Daily Beast’s requests for comment on his connection to the Proud Boys while on the force.
The 2019 application was enough to allow Tuck into a Telegram group for a central Florida’s “Space Force” Proud Boys chapter. There, the then-cop described joining the Proud Boys after mainlining videos of anti-fascists on YouTube, which then led him to videos by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.
"Anyone else decide to join after seeing antifa videos online? Lol. I got myself in a rabbit hole on YouTube and watched 6 hours of videos of antifa attacking people. I was like 'Fuck this, I'm joining the Proud Boys' lol,” Tuck wrote. “I watched hours of antifa videos which then led me to Gavin videos. He spoke the truth. Which sparked my interest."
Tuck also appears to have attended at least one meetup with the group in a restaurant, posing with uniformed members. Soon thereafter, he started sharing details for another meetup, later in July 2019, and expressed his regret that he could not attend a rally featuring McInnes and far-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos.
“Anything with Gavin and Milo is bound to be good,” Tuck wrote. “I’m sure there will be opposition.”
A member of the group responded with a rumor that anti-fascists would throw acid bombs to blind rally attendees. (The threat never materialized.)
Tuck’s connections to the Proud Boys have previously been speculated by internet sleuths and reporters. The Orlando Sentinel noted Friday that Tuck and his father were originally named in the same indictment as Arthur Jackman, the vice president of the Proud Boys’ Orlando chapter, and Paul Rae, a Proud Boy from Seminole.
That indictment, sealed until recently, did not specify the Tucks’ relationship with Jackman or Rae. It did, however, illustrate the Proud Boys’ proximity to Florida police officers. Jackman’s wife is a police officer, as is Nathan Tuck’s. Neither woman has been accused of wrongdoing, and both of their departments have released statements declaring them to be in good standing.
Twitter investigators, meanwhile, uploaded pictures of Nathan Tuck outside the Capitol with Proud Boys on Jan. 6, as well as in Proud Boy uniform at a D.C. rally in December.
On Jan. 6, both Tuck men are accused of breaking into the Capitol. While inside, Nathan Tuck allegedly hit an officer who attempted to stop him, then rammed the officer with his elbow, according to the Sentinel. The elder Tuck allegedly boasted of the day’s events in a family group chat. “We stormed the Capitol, fought the police,” Kevin Tuck allegedly wrote. “We took the flag. It’s our flag.”
According to a statement by the Windermere Police Department, where Kevin Tuck was an active officer, he initially told supervisors that he had never entered the Capitol. His attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
Both Tucks have been released pending their trial, on the condition that they not intimidate or interfere with people involved in their case, and that they do not keep weapons in their home. A judge allowed Nathan Tuck’s wife to keep her service weapon at home in a place Tuck could not reach.