FBI Arrests UCLA Student for Alleged Participation in Storming U.S. Capitol
- By Matt Jones
- February 19, 2021
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the FBI arrested a UCLA student who supposedly participated in the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Christian Secor, 22, was arrested at his home in Costa Mesa, Calif. He faced charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and aiding and abetting; civil disorder and aiding and abetting; obstructing an official proceeding; entering and remaining on restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
According to the affidavit for his arrest, Secor helped force open a door that was being held shut by at least three police officers, allowing more protestors into the Capitol building. Video also shows him sitting in the Senate chamber chair that had just been in use by then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Secor made a brief appearance in a federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., on Tuesday, where a judge determined that he should be held without bail.
Authorities began to investigate Secor’s alleged involvement following tips from at least 11 people. One UCLA student told them that he was the founder of “America First Bruins,” an ultra-conservative campus organization. Other students reported that he had been known to “follow an extreme ideology,” that he had self-identified as a fascist, and that he had “invited white nationalists to speak at UCLA.” UC Student Association president Aidan Arasingham said that Secor sent a series of “disturbing tweets and comments against immigrant, undocumented and international students, as well as LGBTQ students and Jewish students” in April 2020.
The FBI conducted interviews with five sources and then conducted surveillance on Secor between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28 before positively matching him to the figure recorded in footage from the events at the Capitol. According to one of the FBI’s informants, following the riots, Secor got rid of his phone and car, moved back in with his mother, and “bragged that he would not be caught for his involvement at the U.S. Capitol.”
UCLA spokesperson Bill Kisliuk declined to provide any details about Secor beyond that he was an enrolled UCLA student. He said in a statement, “What I can tell you is that UCLA believes the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol was an attack on our democracy. As an institution, UCLA is committed to mutual respect, making decisions based on evidence and using rational debate and not physical violence.”