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Aurora Proud Boys member accused of assaulting officer with flag pole amid Capitol riot

James Robert Elliott faces some of the most serious charges brought against an Illinois resident in connection with the riot that interrupted the Electoral College vote count and led to what could be the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history.

An image alleged to depict James Robert Elliott of Aurora during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach.
An image alleged to depict James Robert Elliott of Aurora during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach.
Joseph Rushmore

Federal prosecutors say an admitted Proud Boys member from Aurora beckoned rioters toward a police line during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach and shouted “patriots, what is your occupation” before thrusting a flagpole he was carrying toward police.

Now James Robert “Jim Bob” Elliott, 24, faces what appear to be some of the most serious charges brought against an Illinois resident in connection with the riot that interrupted the Electoral College vote count and prompted what could be the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history. At least 20 Illinois residents have been charged.

Elliott also appears to be the first Illinois member of the Proud Boys to face charges for his role in the breach. Members of the far-right group have emerged as key targets in the investigation, with some facing serious conspiracy charges for their role in the event.

Authorities arrested Elliott on Monday, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cummings ordered his release Tuesday. The judge imposed a curfew and electronic monitoring at prosecutors’ request and over the objection of Elliott’s defense attorney.

The defense attorney argued the alleged criminal conduct is nearly a year old, and that Elliott is gainfully employed and has no criminal history.

Elliott is charged with civil disorder; assault of a federal officer; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and carrying out an act of violence in the Capitol building or grounds.

All but one of the charges are felonies. The most serious carries a maximum 20-year prison term, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Bond told the judge.

Bond told Cummings that Elliott can be seen on video during the Capitol riot urging a crowd forward near the lower west terrace of the Capitol as police tried to disperse people. Bond said Elliott could then be heard yelling “patriots, what is your occupation,” which Bond said was a reference to the war movie “300.”

The prosecutor also said Elliott used a flagpole he was carrying to hit, or try to hit, police on at least two occasions. The first time, he said, Elliott swung the flagpole downward across the police barricade. The second, Bond said, Elliott thrust it horizontally toward an officer’s face.

Images that allege to depict Elliott during the Capitol riot show him carrying a U.S. flag and wearing black tactical gear and a radio. Bond told the judge that authorities later found a backpack of Elliott’s which they said contained chemical irritant and bear spray.

Bond said Elliott admitted his membership in the Proud Boys following his arrest. The group’s northern Illinois chapter also then began to rally on Elliott’s behalf on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app favored by conspiracy theorists and those on the far right.

Remy Delatorre, a highly visible member of the Proud Boys who was pictured outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, used the platform to post a link to an online fundraiser seeking $25,000 for Elliott.

“Our brother jimbob [sic] got arrested by ABC guys today,” Delatorre wrote on the page, making an apparent reference to federal law enforcement agencies known by three-letter acronyms. “Please send anything you can to this we need to help our brother!!!”

Delatorre punctuated the post with the word “Uhuru,” which means freedom in Swahili and has been coopted as a catchphrase by the Proud Boys. He also insisted Elliott “is a good man” who has a wife and twin 2-year-olds, one of whom recently had heart surgery.

A call to a phone number believed to be Elliott’s went unanswered. Elliott’s defense attorney told the judge Tuesday the couple was engaged.

Online sleuths who investigate extremists and suspected insurrectionists have long sought Elliott’s identity, referring to him as either #AllBlackBabyThor or “Space Cowboy.”

A photo Delatorre included on the crowdfunding site shows Elliott wearing a distinctive silver necklace and holding a U.S. flag that appear to match items he was pictured with during the riot.