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March 20, 2023

Capitol rioter ordered back to jail after DWI arrest, AR-15 rifle discovered in car

Capitol rioter ordered back to jail after DWI arrest, AR-15 rifle discovered in car

An accused Capitol rioter has been ordered to be returned to federal custody after he tried to flee an arrest for suspected drunk driving last month and police discovered an AR-15 rifle in his car.

James Tate Grant, 29, of North Carolina was on pretrial release for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 rampage, where he allegedly assaulted two police officers.

However, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly revoked that release on Tuesday, citing how Grant has violated his release terms and attempted to flee an arrest on Dec. 7, according to court records.

In the December incident, a Garner Police Department officer responded to a restaurant in Wake County, North Carolina, around 5 a.m. and found Grant in his vehicle. He appeared to be intoxicated and the officer initiated a DWI investigation, according to the motion to revoke his release.

But while being placed under arrest, Grant tried to flee, the filing said.

James Tate Grant, who is accused of attacking a Capitol officer in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot.Department of Justice

“He then dropped to the ground and stated something to the effect of ‘Just kill me now.’ He then stated, ‘It’s over,’” according to the filing and police report.

In Grant’s car, police recovered an AR-15 assault rifle, 60 rounds of ammunition, weapon accessories and combat fatigues, court documents said.

Ultimately, Grant charged with driving while impaired, according to court documents and police report. That DWI case remains pending in Wake County District Court. 

The motion for Grant to be detained also noted that on two occasions, once in October and once in November, Grant provided urine samples that tested positive for amphetamines.

The motion to revoke his pretrial release stated: “He was caught driving drunk with an assault rifle and over 60 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle, and initially attempted to flee from law enforcement. There are no conditions or combination of conditions that could ensure the safety of the community and Grant’s presence in court if he were to remain released.”

Kelly granted the motion Tuesday, stating Grant violated his release terms, which bans possession of firearms, excessive alcohol consumption and use of a narcotic or other controlled substances.

Grant’s attorney, Peter Cooper, did not immediately reply to NBC News’ request for comment.

Cooper told CBS affiliate WUSA, that his client’s behavior was a due to stress and untreated mental health issues. 

In the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, Grant, along with co-defendant Ryan Samsel, are believed to be the first two people that crossed a police barricade in a restricted area near Peace Circle, waving for the Trump-mob behind them to follow, according to charging documents.

Grant was also caught on video footage shoving a metal barricade into a Capitol Police officer and defending other rioters, the documents said.

The motion for Grant’s pretrial release to be revoked stated: “Grant’s underlying conduct in this case involved crimes of violence, specifically the assault of two different USCP Officers … He also entered the U.S. Capitol and went inside at least two private Senate offices.”

He faces numerous charges stemming from the Jan. 6 furor including assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury, civil disorder and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings. 

He pleaded not guilty to charges Tuesday.

Marlene Lenthang

Marlene Lenthang is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

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