Capitol riot defendant files request for removal of ankle monitor, citing loud beeping

Capitol riot defendant files request for removal of ankle monitor, citing loud beeping
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A Capitol riot defendant who prosecutors believe is a member of the Proud Boys has asked a judge to remove the GPS ankle monitor he was ordered to wear as part of his conditional release, noting that the device has “started beeping loudly” around potential business clients. 

Lawyers for Gabriel Augustin Garcia argued in a motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this month that their client, who owns a roofing business, has had his work interrupted by the ankle monitor since he was released on bond earlier this year. 

The Florida man’s attorneys wrote, “the monitor around his ankle is unsafe and a work hazard,” noting that as part of his work, Garcia “climbs ladders and the GPS monitor often gets stuck on the next ladder step when climbing,” causing him to almost fall off a ladder on one occasion. 

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“Also, the monitor has randomly started beeping loudly around potential clients, immediately followed by an embarrassing phone call from pretrial services asking for his exact location,” the court filing added. 

Garcia, who according to Department of Justice records has a status hearing scheduled for Tuesday, requested in his motion to have a separate hearing on the potential removal of his ankle monitor. 

Federal prosecutors responded to the motion in their own court filing on Wednesday, writing that Garcia, who authorities have said uploaded videos to Facebook showing himself inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot, “has shown a willingness to travel across state lines to engage in belligerent and obstructive behavior.” 

The attorneys noted that during their investigation that led to a six-count indictment against Garcia, authorities found that the man had taken part “in an aggressive confrontation with U.S. Capitol Police Officers” in which “the Defendant positioned himself at the front of the police line and incited the crowd.” 

Prosecutors alleged that Garcia told fellow Trump supporters to “storm this shit,” and called officers responding to the rioting “f---ing traitors.” 

The government also noted that the defendant is believed to be a member of the far-right group the Proud Boys, and participated in “at least one additional hostile demonstration in Washington, D.C. before the January 6, 2021 Capitol Riots.” 

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“The Defendant has not raised any novel issue that merits any meaningful change of his release conditions, conditions that are certainly reasonable in light of his conduct and his risk of danger to the community,” federal prosecutors added in their opposition to the removal of the GPS device. 

Garcia, whose charges include obstruction of an official proceeding and disorderly conduct in the Capitol, campaigned last year to be a state representative in the Miami-Dade area. 

According to state election records, Garcia, who ran as a Republican, lost in the primary by more than 17 percentage points.