A Georgia man who asked where the “swamp rats” were hiding during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was found guilty of felony charges, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Bruno Joseph Cua, 20, was found guilty on two felony charges — obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, interfering with, intimidating, opposing or impeding officers — during a stipulated trial on Feb. 24. He was arrested on Feb. 5, 2021, and his sentencing is scheduled for May 12. He could be sentenced up to 28 years in prison for both felony charges.
The Justice Department alleged that government evidence showed Cua traveled to Washington, D.C., with his parents from Milton, Ga., on Jan. 5, 2021, before attending a rally the next day near the Washington Monument, where former President Trump told the crowd to head to the Capitol.
Once he arrived at the Capitol, Cua was separated from his parents and entered the Capitol building with a baton at about 2:36 p.m., the Justice Department said. After he arrived to the third floor, he tried to open numerous doors and yelled, “This is what happens when you piss off patriots!” and “Hey! Where are the swamp rats hiding?!”, according to the Justice Department.
At about 2:41 p.m., Cua encountered U.S. Capitol Police officers who were trying to lock the doors to the Senate Gallery, where he then assaulted one of the officers by shoving him at least twice. The Justice Department said in the release that as a result of Cua’s and other’s actions, the officers retreated and Cua was able to enter the Senate chamber, where he spent time sitting in the vice president’s chair, putting his feet up on the desk and helping others get into the chamber. He was escorted out of the building by law enforcement at about 2:53 p.m.
The Justice Department noted in its release that Cua posted on social media before the attacks that he planned to interfere with the election proceedings, and then bragged on social media after the riot that he had “stormed” the Capitol.
“After January 6, the defendant made several more statements on social media confirming his participation in the riot, the use of violence during the riot, and his belief that additional violence may be necessary in the future,” the department’s release stated.
Since Jan. 6, more than 985 people have been arrested in almost all 50 states for being involved in the attacks on the Capitol, and about 319 of them have been charged for “assaulting or impeding law enforcement,” according to the release.