HOUSTON – The two Houston area men who were most recently arrested and charged for allegedly being involved in the deadly Capitol riot can be seen on video inside the Capitol, federal investigators say.
Federal investigators added that screenshots from videos posted to YouTube and Instagram showed the moments 27-year-old Benjamin Larocca was inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, chanting “our house,” in response to other rioters chanting “whose house.”
A neighbor who says he never met Larocca, told KPRC 2 that he was saddened by the news.
“You never know what’s going on in the house next door to you or who is around you,” the neighbor said. “To see what they did, to breach the Capitol the way that they did. It’s inexcusable, un-American”.
Monday, Larocca’s stepfather, who didn’t want to appear on camera, told us at their home in Pearland that he believed Larocca was coerced into being involved, and that at one point, he shook hands with an officer.
Prosecutors charged Larocca with obstructing an official proceeding, unlawfully entering the restricted building to disrupt government proceedings, and disorderly or disruptive conduct of restricted grounds.
“It doesn’t shock me per se, it was just sad,” the neighbor said.
Federal investigators believe Larocca drove from Texas to Washington D.C. with Christian Cortez. They also believe that the video’s images, which were brought to them by witnesses who went to school with the duo, show the moments Cortez breached a line of rioters and began yelling in Capitol Police officer’s faces, despite being sprayed with OC and fire extinguisher retardant.
Cortez received the same charges as Larocca, plus assaulting a federal officer and civil disorder.
As of Monday evening, both men were released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, which means they don’t have to pay unless they violate the terms of the bond agreements.
Federal investigators are hoping to identify more people suspected to be involved in the insurrection. Anyone with information is asked to call 1800- 225-5324 or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov.
Any questions regarding the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol or any of the defendants should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in DC.
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