Dawsonville man latest Georgian arrested in Capitol riot

The FBI announced on Feb. 9, 2021, the arrest of Benjamin Harry Torre, 22, of Dawsonville in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The agency included this social media photo of Torre in the Capitol in its affidavit.

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The FBI announced on Feb. 9, 2021, the arrest of Benjamin Harry Torre, 22, of Dawsonville in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The agency included this social media photo of Torre in the Capitol in its affidavit.

Federal authorities Tuesday announced the arrest of Benjamin Harry Torre of Dawsonville for his alleged actions during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court in Atlanta, Torre, 22, admitted to the FBI he was among the hundreds of people involved in the deadly breach on the Capitol. Torre faces misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

In an interview with federal authorities last month, Torre allegedly claimed Capitol Police were “completely fine” with the thousands of pro-Trump rioters who swarmed the Capitol steps, and climbed on scaffolding erected for the inauguration of President Joe Biden. The affidavit claims Torre admitted entering the Capitol through a broken window.

Court records say Torre was one of a number of rioters who entered the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. Merkley claimed in a tweet that a laptop was stolen from his office, but Torre is not a named suspect in that alleged theft.

Torre was identified from a photo taken from social media during the riot and circulated by the FBI on fliers circulated on in the internet. According to court records, an unidentified tipster recognized Torre and turned him in. The FBI found an Instagram account believed to belong to Torre’s brother that tagged Torre in Washington, D.C., the evening of Jan. 7.

“Did ya storm the capital (sic),” one user commented.

“No and I think it was wrong that we did,” the poster responded.

In his interview with the FBI, Torre allegedly admitted he attended the rally with his family, including his parents, where he heard President Donald Trump tell the crowd to “peacefully march to the Capitol.” Torre allegedly told the agents “things got a little heated” when the crowd reached the Capitol, but maintained his interactions with police were peaceful.

According to the affidavit, Torre said he did not go to Washington as part of a group and described himself as “a patriot.” Torre joins a growing list of people with Georgia connections arrested for their alleged role in the riot. A family member contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution declined to comment on the arrest.

Authorities announced Saturday the arrest of Bruno Cua, 18, of Milton, who is charged with assault on a federal officer, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and violently demonstrating on Capitol grounds. Video filmed by a New Yorker reporter during the insurrection appears to show Cua inside the Senate chamber as rioters rifle through senators’ desks and photograph government records.

Others arrested in connection with the Capitol attack include south Georgia attorney McCall Calhoun and Georgia native Eric Munchel, who is accused of entering the Capitol with his mother, Woodstock resident Lisa Eisenhart, who also faces charges.

In addition, police said a 53-year-old Alpharetta man took his own life days after Metropolitan Police in Washington arrested him on charges of “unlawful entry of public property” and violating the city’s 6 p.m. curfew.

The FBI announced of Torre’s arrest came just as Trump’s second impeachment trial began in the Senate. About 200 people have so far been charged in the Jan. 6 riot, which claimed five lives, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and Kennesaw resident Rosanne Boyland, a 34-year-old Trump supporter killed after being crushed when the crowd attempted to push its way past officers and into the Capitol, officials said.

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