Aurora man bragged Proud Boys promoted him after U.S. Capitol attack
AURORA, Ill. - A member of the Proud Boys from Aurora bragged about being promoted to the highest rank of membership in the far-right group after he stormed the U.S. Capitol in body armor and a ballistic helmet on Jan. 6, 2021, and also assaulted a police officer, federal prosecutors say.
The feds want James Robert Elliott, 25, to serve nearly three-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the riot at the Capitol, where he "seemed to view himself as the star of a war movie" and repeatedly uttered a cry from the movie "300."
Elliott yelled, "Patriots, what is your occupation? AAH-OOH, AAH-OOH, AAH-OOH!"
Prosecutors wrote in a recent court memo that even though "Elliott saw himself as an heir to the 300 Spartans" depicted in the movie "who were vastly outnumbered by their foes at the Battle of Thermopylae, he was part of a mob of rioters who vastly outnumbered the police officers guarding the Capitol Building on January 6."
In fact, they alleged the 24-year-old officer Elliott hit with a flagpole was also hit by someone else with a wooden plank. Others allegedly pushed that officer to the ground during another struggle and sprayed him multiple times with chemical irritants. He went to a hospital two days later and was diagnosed with a mild concussion, the feds wrote.
MORE: Ex-Proud Boys leader Tarrio guilty of Jan. 6 sedition plot
Elliott is set to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington, D.C. That hearing would take place five days after a federal jury on Thursday convicted former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three other members of the group of a plot to attack the Capitol to keep Donald Trump in power after he lost the 2020 presidential election.
The Proud Boys has described itself as a "pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, aka Western Chauvinists," the feds say.
Prosecutors filed their memo Tuesday seeking a 41-month prison sentence in Elliott’s case. A similar memo from Elliott’s attorney was also due Tuesday but had not appeared on the court docket as of Thursday morning. The defense attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The feds wrote that Elliott, a father of two who works as a tow-truck driver, sent a letter to court personnel that read, "if I hurt anyone, I sincerely apologize." But given that he pleaded guilty in November to his assault of the police officer, they wrote that "it is incomprehensible how he could even think that there is a question as to whether his actions ‘hurt anyone’ that day."
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Elliott allegedly bragged in text messages after the riot that his actions earned him a fourth-degree membership rank in the Proud Boys. The feds identified it as the highest rank of membership and quoted a recruiting manual that said it requires someone to engage "in a major conflict for the cause." That manual notes that "serious physical fights also count," they wrote.
The night of the riot, Elliott allegedly expressed anger toward Trump in videos on the social media app Telegram for not fighting harder to remain in office.
"Trump just said … that the people in D.C. don’t represent America," Elliott allegedly said. "We f—ing took the Capitol Building for this motherf—er, and he has the gall to say that we don’t represent America. … And then the motherf—er bends over and lets Biden stick his f—ing shoes in his a— and kicks him out of the f—ing White House. Whatever happened to ‘you refuse to concede no matter the results? … We f—ing fought for him, we took the f—ing Capitol for him, and then he f—ing concedes to Biden!"
Prosecutors wrote that Elliott’s Telegram videos make clear that "he engaged in violence that day for political ends, to keep his preferred candidate in power through violence if necessary."