A retired New York City firefighter from Long Island who photographed himself inside the U.S. Capitol during the deadly pro-Trump riot earlier this month is facing criminal charges for his role in the insurrection, officials announced.
Freeport resident Thomas Fee, age 53, was charged over the weekend with violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, though he is yet to be taken into custody, according to reports.
It is alleged that Fee drove to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 to attend the riot at the Capitol the following day. According to reports, a vehicle registered in the retired firefighter’s name was caught crossing the Verrazano Bridge on his way to the protest.
Fee also took a photo of himself during the riot inside the Capitol, which he sent to someone who works in government, leading to the charges.
Fee’s girlfriend also allegedly posted online about his involvement in the riot on Facebook, and the posts were located by a special agent within the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service.
During the riot, Fee also sent a video recording of a crowd inside the building shouting "tyranny" and "Pelosi," a reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prosecutors said.
The photos were cross-checked with Fee’s driver’s license with the state’s DMV records to confirm his participation in the riot. The posts were also shared with the Joint Terrorism Task Force before the charges were filed.
According to reports, Fee has a history of racist accusations, and during the riots, he claimed to be “at the tip of the spear” during the invasion.
Fee was a member of the FDNY for 22 years before retiring in October last year. He is also a member of the Freeport Fire Department.
“The Department respects the right of all members to take and personally support social and political positions," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement. "Department members, whether active or retired, must not engage in conduct that tends to bring the Department into disrepute, or is disruptive to the discipline and good order of the Department."
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