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Release of Proud Boy leader charged in Capitol riot reversed hours later

The self-styled “Sergeant of Arms” for Seattle’s chapter of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group will remain in custody for his alleged role in the US Capitol riot.

Ethan Nordean, 30, was arrested on Feb. 3 on four charges in connection to the Jan. 6 siege, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The bodybuilder and prominent Proud Boy on Monday appeared via video before a federal judge in Seattle, where his pretrial release was initially ordered, the Seattle Times reported.

But Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida’s ruling was reversed on appeal just hours later by US District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, blocking the release of the man also known as “Rufio Panman” among right-wing extremists.

In addition to staying Nordean’s release, Howell also ordered that he be transported immediately to Washington DC, the newspaper reported.

Nordean is accused of being among a group that entered the Capitol after rioters, including alleged members of the Proud Boys, “forced entry” into the building by destroying federal property, a criminal complaint shows.

Photos and videos from the violent uprising that left five people dead show Nordean “near the front of the crowd of rioters” as they outnumbered Capitol police, according to the 21-page complaint.

Nordean’s alias is a reference to a character in the 1991 Peter Pan fantasy movie “Hook,” according to the Seattle Times.

He faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted on the four counts he faces. His public defender, meanwhile, has characterized prosecutors’ claims that Nordean was a potential flight risk as “far-fetched,” saying he actually turned himself in to face federal charges.

Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean is seen during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean is seen during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

“He was not home when agents arrived to arrest him,” federal public defender Corey Endo said during Monday’s detention hearing. “His wife called him and told him they were there to arrest him and he returned home. Those are not the actions of someone who wishes to flee.”

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