STATEN ISLAND — College student Nicholas Moncada, 20, like so many other thousands of other passionate Trump supporters, described his Jan. 6 trip to the nation’s capital on social media: before, during and after.
Over the last week Moncada posted on Twitter and Gab,” “So I stormed the f—ing capitol, been quiet the last few days since gab was not particularly working. That’s all for now.”
On Twitter, he wrote, “Capitol Hill Raid had a certain subject: Voter Fraud, Protecting Republic, Trump, etc.”
What Moncada and his distraught mother did not count on, however, was the trip being treated — by the FBI, at least — as trespassing.
Agents came to arrest her son Monday morning.
Ms. Moncada (she would not provide her first name) said Monday night her son’s role in the Capitol insurrection wasn’t what it seemed.
“I’m upset,” she said. “Everybody’s making this out to be more than it is. He’s a good kid. He’s a great kid, and he’s never cause me problems — ever.”
She said she did not know her son was going to the Capitol.
“I knew he was going to D.C., yes. But he didn’t go there with intent to do anything. And he didn’t do anything. All he did was take pictures,” she said.
When asked if she was OK with her son being on federal property, Ms. Moncada initially deflected.
“I didn’t know until after the fact,” she said.
When pressed, she relented, sort of.
“Oh, absolutely I was upset, but that’s besides the point,” she said. “I can’t change what happened.”
But federal investigators said Moncada’s participation in the storming of the Capitol is enough to be charged criminally, and they’re using the alleged insurrectionist’s social media posts boasting of their actions as evidence against them.
That includes Moncada, who investigators say posted, “…self-photographs and/or first person video depicting rioting and unlawful entry in the U.S. Capitol Complex.”
The FBI also charged a retired New York City firefighter, Thomas Fee of Freeport, Long Island, citing social media posts documenting his participation in storming the US. Capitol complex.
Back on Staten Island – Moncada’s neighbors offered different takes on his arrest.
“What he was there for, I mean, if it was freedom of speech, that’s fine,” neighbor Jay Sacks said. “Did he cause any harm? I don’t believe he did.You wanna call it trespassing? OK, fine. He did trespass. So did a couple of thousand others.”
Dooes that make Moncada’s actions justified?
“No it doesn’t make it right,” Sacks said.” “But again, with all that’s going on, I mean…”
Another neighbor, Sal Banchetto, was not surprised to hear Moncada was arrested for his actions.
“Everybody has a right to protest, but you are on federal property. It’s different than what took place over the summer, I believe,” Banchetto said. “This is federal property, you gotta be held accountable.”