A man who allegedly wanted to shoot Nancy Pelosi’s “noggin” during the Capitol riots and is accused of having texted acquaintances about those plans has been arrested.
Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr wrote multiple text messages that said he wanted to shoot or run over Ms Pelosi, the House speaker, on Wednesday as Donald Trump’s supporters stormed Congress, according to documents seen by CNN.
The alleged rioter, who has been charged with writing threats and possessing a firearm and ammunition, is said to have written in a text that he wanted to put “a bullet in [Nancy Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV”.
According to the documents, he wrote in another that he was headed to Washington DC with “a s***t ton of…armour piercing ammo”, along with other messages about running over the House speaker.
He was also said to have used devil emojis and several slurs against women in his messages.
Meredith Jr, who the FBI said had arrived in Washington the day before Mr Trump’s march on Congress, faced initial court proceedings on Friday, and is currently being detained until a court hearing next week.
He had been staying at a Holiday Inn in southwest Washington ahead of the march, whose participants wrongly alleged that November’s election was “stolen” or “rigged”.
On Wednesday evening, FBI agents used an arrest warrant to search Meredith Jr’s hotel room, as well as a nearby trailer used to store weapons.
Meredith Jr allegedly told agents that he was aware that carrying firearms in Washington was prohibited, and so he had moved them to the trailer.
Agents were said to have found three guns, including a Glock 19, a 9 mm pistol and an assault rifle, as well as “approximately hundreds of rounds of ammunition”.
He was also revealed to support QAnon, and posted a billboard above his Car Nutz Car Wash businesses in Acworth, Georgia, in 2018 with the word “QAnon” because he was “a patriot among the millions who love this country", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The extremist right-wing conspiracy alleges that a “deep state” of paedophiles and bureaucrats has worked against Mr Trump, and is classified by the FBI as a potential domestic terror threat.
According to reports, QAnon supporters believed that the rally in Washington DC was the coming of a “storm”, or a day of reckoning for the president’s opponents.
Meredith Jr is believed to be among 13 people who are facing federal charges for their roles in the riot, the Justice Department said on Friday.
They include Richard Barnett, who was arrested after he was pictured sitting with his feet on a desk in Ms Pelosi’s congressional office during the riot.
Meredith Jr had recently protested outside Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s home, having been attacked by Mr Trump in recent weeks for certifying the state’s election results, and Joe Biden’s win there.