WASHINGTON — A Washington state man and a key member of the far-right group the Proud Boys has been arrested and charged for his role in the deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, federal authorities said.
Ethan Nordean, 30, known in far-right circles by his alias "Rufio Panman," faces multiple criminal counts in the District -- including disorderly conduct, obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, and knowingly and violently entering a restricted building, according to a U.S. District Court criminal complaint.
According to charging documents, Nordean is the self-described “Sergeant of Arms” of the Seattle Chapter of the Proud Boys, a group self-described as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.”
Prior to Jan. 6, Nordean posted on social media certain indications of an intent to organize a group that intended to engage in conflict. At around Dec. 27, 2020, Nordean posted a message asking for donations of “protective gear” and “communications equipment.” On Jan. 4, 2021, Nordean posted a video on social media, which he captioned, “Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us.”
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During the insurrection at the Capitol, is alleged that Nordean was observed marching at the front of a group of known Proud Boys shortly before the riot began.
Charging documents further alleged that Nordean was among those who entered the U.S. Capitol building after rioters, including certain persons associated with the Proud Boys, forced entry into the Capitol by means of destruction of Federal property.
It is also alleged that Nordean was near the front of the crowd of rioters, who collectively approached, confronted, and vastly outnumbered Capitol Police.
On or about the same day, Nordean posted a video of a discussion that Nordean had with another member of the Proud Boys. During the course of the hour-long video, Nordean discussed what he described as “blatant, rampant voter fraud” in the Presidential election, according to charging documents.
Nordean went on to say that, rather than being complacent, the Proud Boys were going to “bring back that original spirit of 1776 of what really established the character of what America is. And it’s not complacency, it’s not low standards. It’s ‘this is how it’s going to be, and I don’t give a god damn.’”
Later in the video, Nordean said, “Democracy is dead? Well, then no peace for you. No democracy, no peace.”
The day before the riots, Nordean posted the following statement to social media: “It is apparent now more than ever, that if you are a patriot, you will be targeted and they will come after you, funny thing is that they don’t realize is, is we are coming for them. You’ve chosen your side, black and yellow teamed with red, white and blue against everyone else.”
The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.