Apr 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Uber driver turned in alleged Jan. 6 rioter who boasted on dashcam

Photo of Trump supporters holding various signage and American flags crowded onto the steps of the U.S. Capitol
Trump supporters take the steps on the east side of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A California man who stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection was arrested after his Uber driver tipped off the FBI, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

Driving the news: Jerry Daniel Braun allegedly told the Uber driver during a trip to his hotel on Jan. 6, 2021 that he tore down a barricade at the Capitol. The encounter was recorded by the driver's dashboard-mounted camera; the footage ultimately allowed the FBI to track him down.

Details: According to the Justice Department's affidavit, the clip shows a man bleeding near his right eye as the driver asks, "So, has it been violent all day?"

  • "Well, it started around, right when I got there. I tore down the barricades," the man replies. When asked why, he adds, "So we could get to the Capitol."
  • "Well, how’d that work out for ya?" the driver prods.
  • "Well, it looks like, uh, Biden’s gonna be our president."

The FBI was also able to identify Braun in an officer's body camera footage, which allegedly shows Braun holding a long wooden plank that looks to be about eight feet in length.

  • He appears to repeatedly strike a photographer who is wearing a helmet with the text "PRESS" displayed across the front, per the affidavit.
  • Braun also allegedly sent a text message to someone on Jan. 6 saying, "We tried to stop the steal but they wouldn't let us in, where were you, the writing your next speech, we are sick of all the talk."

The big picture: Braun, who was arrested in California earlier this month, now faces charges of obstruction during civil disorder, entering and remaining on restricted grounds, and violent or disorderly conduct.

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