Authorities say 20-year-old Nicolas Moncada was taken into custody Monday morning at his Taunton Street home in Bay Terrace two weeks after he live-streamed his activities at the Capitol.
The FBI released a statement following Moncada's arrest, saying in part, "For those still thinking of employing violence to interfere with our Nation's laws and institutions, our message is simple - don't do it."
ADIC Sweeney's statement following Nicolas Moncada's arrest for his role in the riot and assault on the Capitol building:— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) January 18, 2021
"For those still thinking of employing violence to interfere with our Nation's laws and institutions, our message is simple - don't do it."
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/kH9G7EN5Mi
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Neighbors were shocked at the arrest. Vin Cigna said he's known Moncada since he was born.
"He's a wonderful kid, as a matter of fact, he's an art student," he said. "And the only reason why he's doing what he's doing is because of the pandemic. Never had a problem in his life. He's not a rabble rouser or terrorist, has no such intentions. He's an excellent kid with an excellent character who's right now in limbo like we all are with the pandemic. But he went there. He's pro-Trump. And went there to try to protest peacefully and got involved...Everybody has the right to protest no matter what side of the aisle you're on, as long as it's peaceful."
In fact, the FBI said they were tipped off about Moncada's involvement in the riots by the Office of Public Safety at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where several faculty members and students recognized him from social media posts -- including his own -- that showed first-person accounts of the riots.
"He shouldn't have been there, because you're really not supposed to be inside of a restricted place," Cigna said. "But if he went in there, he just went in there and did nothing, I don't see why this had to happen. You could come and investigate...and ask people before coming in like storm troopers in the middle of the night to arrest someone on a federal holiday. That's just not right."
FIT released a statement Monday saying Moncada is not currently a student and has not been enrolled since May 2020. He has not earned an FIT degree and was majoring in illustration.
Moncada also posted on his Instagram account a photograph of himself that authorities say was taken inside the Capitol and captioned, "Outside Pelosi's office."
He is also alleged to have interacted with commenters on his social media accounts in which he incriminated himself as being part of those who stormed the Capitol.
"We're talking about a 20-year-old kid who went there to voice his opinion like everyone of us has the free right to do, and you don't come with that kind of armament," Cigna said. "This was all overkill. This was a publicity overkill...The amount of force was excessive."
The second person identified for involvement in the riot is 53-year-old Thomas Fee, of Freeport, who retired last October after 22 years with the FDNY.
Fee allegedly texted a photo to an acquaintance who inquired if he was at the Capitol, saying he was at the "tip of the spear" inside the building.
Thomas Fee of Freeport, New York allegedly texted a witness saying he was at the "tip of the spear" inside the Capitol during the siege. He has been arrested and charged. pic.twitter.com/weM7lcHRGO— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) January 18, 2021
Fee was honored after he rescued 13 people, including a pregnant woman and several children, from flooding during Superstorm Sandy on October 29, 2012. But he also, as a volunteer firefighter in Hempstead in 2004, was suspended for yelling racial slurs at a Black cardiologist who walked past the firehouse on three or four occasions.
He was also suspended from the Hempstead Fire Department in 2001 for speaking with the media after rescuing two men. He was awarded the Silver Medal for Valor for his efforts in that rescue a year later.
Fee was taken into custody on Tuesday morning.
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