Federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed charges against a MAGA-loving Georgia teen who allegedly shoved a police officer to enter the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot and encouraged his social media followers for days to show up to Washington, D.C., to “fight.”
Bruno Joseph Cua, 18, was arrested Friday and charged with several crimes—including assault on a federal officer and civil disorder—for his role in the unprecedented siege. In a criminal complaint, prosecutors allege that after encouraging his social media followers for almost two weeks to support former President Donald Trump and protest against the election, the Georgia teenager stormed the Capitol.
The Milton, Georgia, resident is seen in several photos and videos at the Capitol wearing a MAGA hat and a sweatshirt adorned with an eagle—including a New Yorker video showing a slew of rioters fighting their way onto the Senate floor.
Cua’s lawyer did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Monday.
In one video, “Cua is seen outside the Senate chamber doors, in a physical altercation with USCP plain clothes officers, still holding a baton in his hand,” according to prosecutors. After shoving an officer in front of the door to the chamber, the teenager is seen entering through an open door, the complaint adds.
In the New Yorker video, Cua is seen inside the Senate chamber, wandering around and recording rioters pilfering desks and sitting in chairs. At one point, after one rioter gets yelled at for trying to sit on former Vice President Mike Pence’s seat, the complaint states Cua is heard saying, “They can steal an election, but we can’t sit in their chairs?”
Surveillance footage from inside the Capitol also shows the teenager walking around the East Corridor—with a baton in his right hand and a cellphone in the other—and attempting to enter several rooms, according to the feds.
The FBI said they identified Cua after receiving a slew of tips from several witnesses, including one who said the teenager was on a Metropolitan Police Department bulletin about possible rioters. The witness said Cua posted several videos and photos from inside the Capitol on his Instagram, including one post where the teenager said he and several others “stormed” the government building after they “physically fought our way in.”
“Yes, for everyone asking I stormed the capital with hundreds of thousands of patriots,” Cua’s post read. “I’ll do a whole video explaining what happened, this is history. What happened was unbelievable.”
The complaint states federal authorities also received several tips about Cua’s Parler account, in which the teenager detailed his plans to travel to D.C. on Jan. 6. One tip said Cua “actively encouraged the events on the sixth for 11 days leading up to the domestic terrorist attack.”
“President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!” Cua, who went by PatriotBruno on the far-right chat haven, said in one post. “His own cabinet, everyone has betrayed him. Its Trump & #WeThePeople VS the #deepstate and the #CCP. He knows this is the only way to save our great country, show up #January6th. It’s time to take our freedom back the old fashioned way.
In another post, Cua wrote: “This isn’t a joke, this is where and when we make our stand. #January6th, Washington DC. Be there, no matter what. Nothing is more important.”
While Cua’s Parler account has since been deactivated, WSB-TV reported the teenager also encouraged his followers on Jan. 3 to arm themselves with tasers, pepper spray, and baseball bats for the siege. An Instagram account appearing to belong to Cua shows an affinity for guns, ATVs, and pickup trucks.
“Show up and be ready to fight! Telling them that this really is our 1776,” he said in another Parler post just three days before the siege. In another post, he reportedly warned his followers about possible firearm checkpoints in D.C.
This is not Cua’s first run-in with the law. In December, he was cited for violating Milton’s public disturbance ordinance after allegedly racing his pickup truck in the Birmingham Falls Elementary parking lot. A police spokesperson told The Daily Beast officers responded to reports of the teenager blaring his horn and flying a large Trump flag from his truck.
Police say when they questioned Cua, the teeanger claimed his younger brother and his brother’s friends wanted to watch him fly the banner.