Before Jan. 6, 18-year-old Bruno Cua was best accepted in his baby boondocks of Milton, Ga., as a abundant architect of treehouses. These were big, busy creations with ladders and trapdoors and framed-out windows. They were so impressive, neighbors paid Cua to body them for their kids.
The apple alfresco Milton, Ga., met Cua in a rather added affecting way. He was allegedly apparent in assorted videos continuing in the Senate Alcove of the U.S. Capitol with a scattering of added rioters. The videos accept aback gone viral: There’s a man in action gear, now articular as Air Force adept Larry Brock, Jr., accusation rioters, including Cua, about why they shouldn’t sit in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair. Cua seemed confused. “They can abduct an election, but we can’t sit in their chairs?” he asked.
In a aegis motion filed on Friday, Bruno Cua’s attorneys said their applicant “is an affectable 18-year-old kid who was in the average of finishing his online coursework to alum from aerial academy aback he was arrested.”
They acrylic a annual of a adolescent man swept up by events. “In abounding ways, he is beneath of an ‘adult’ than abounding teenagers,” the motion said. “He has never lived abroad from his parents. He has lived his absolute activity in the breadth anon surrounding Atlanta.”
Prosecutors, for their part, see Cua through a actual altered lens. In a bent complaint, they point to Cua’s amusing media posts in the countdown and after-effects to Jan. 6 to advance that he was addition who was absolutely aggressive by above President Donald Trump and absorbed on violence.
Cua’s case is a abrupt archetype of aloof how able misinformation can be. Both case and aegis accede that he was radicalized by what he apprehend online, and the accommodation to embrace the falsehoods he apparent in chatrooms and amusing media afflicted the advance of his life. And he wasn’t alone. Added than 250 bodies accept been answerable so far with breaching the Capitol and best of them, to capricious degrees, were motivated to storm the architecture by the falsehoods they had been annual online and in amusing media for months.
“President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!” Cua allegedly wrote on Parler canicule afore the siege. “It’s time to booty our abandon aback the old ancient way.”
Cua’s attorneys say the letters prosecutors see as aggressive were the “idle babble of an acutely passionate, but actual naive, jailbait who was answer what he heard and saw on amusing media.” They fabricated bright that these annual weren’t things that Cua came up with on his own, instead they were fed to him online. He was radicalized, they said, by amusing media.
According to the aegis motion, Cua had catholic to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 with his parents to appear a Trump rally. His parents were adept Trump supporters and Cua had become one too. They had absolved to the Capitol together, as a family, aback a affray erupted on the Capitol steps. Bruno Cua asked his parents if he could go and booty a afterpiece look. They agreed and Cua bound abolished into the crowd. His parents alone begin out later, his attorneys said, that he had entered the Capitol and absolved into the Senate chamber.
Surveillance video central the Capitol allegedly showed him cutting a aphotic sweatshirt, a jean jacket, a red “Make America Abundant Again” hat and gray gloves wielding a billy and aggravating to accessible assorted appointment doors.
In a bent complaint, federal prosecutors adduce a Jan. 6 Instagram column in which Cua allegedly wrote, “Yes, we physically fought our way in.” Another column read: “Yes, for anybody allurement I stormed the [Capitol] with hundreds of bags of patriots. I’ll do a accomplished video answer what happened, this is history. What happened was unbelievable.”
The FBI allegedly accustomed two tips anecdotic Cua as the adolescent man who stood in the Senate alcove on Jan. 6. His accouterment helped authorities analyze his movements and accomplishments throughout the Capitol that day, they said.
Another tipster, according to cloister documents, told authorities that Cua had been talking about activity to Washington on his Parler annual for canicule and “actively encouraged the contest on the sixth for 11 canicule arch up to the calm agitator attack,” the complaint said.
Cua, who is believed to be the youngest being so far to be answerable with affronted the Capitol, allegedly assaulted a federal officer. His attorneys say that as allotment of his altitude for absolution he would be accommodating to break off amusing media and be monitored in his parent’s house.
Since the contest in January, Cua has completed three online courses: College Algebra, Intro to Government and Intro to Marketing, his attorneys said. He is three classes abroad from a aerial academy diploma, they added.
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