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An FBI "tank" was used to arrest a Proud Boys member in a quiet New York neighbourhood, with agents "yelling" at residents to get back in their homes.
Eduard Florea was ordered out into the street and detained on a weapons possession charge after the 40-year-old dad allegedly made threats online about going to Washington DC in the wake of the Capitol attacks.
Photos captured the distressing scene in Middle Village, Queens, on Tuesday evening, showing an armoured vehicle with a gun-carrying marksman on top, while the suspect stood arms raised as his family watched on.
One neighbour told the NY Daily News : "It was nuts. A tank was going down the street. I couldn’t believe it, especially in a quiet neighbourhood like this."
(Image: CBS NY)
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Another said they came out of their basement to see what was happening and "an FBI guy yelled at me to get inside".
They went on to describe how: "Not much later, a woman went out with two little kids. I actually feel sorry for the kids. They looked scared to death."
Florea is not believed to have been involved in last week's failed coup, in which Donald Trump supporters raided the Capitol complex in protest against Congress confirming Joe Biden as the next president.
Eduard Florea appears during a virtual hearing on weapons charges in a New York court in this January 13
However, police say he was planning further unrest on social media, according to WNBC.
Prosecutors in New York charged Florea with being a felon in possession of a firearm after the FBI said he possessed more than 1,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, military combat knives, and shotgun rounds.
Florea made verbal threats on the conservative social media platform Parler to carry out violence, said prosecutors.
Florea, who did not travel to Washington for the riots, was a supporter of the Proud Boys and had applied to
become a member, the government said during his hearing.
Florea was detained on a weapons possession charge
Neighbours have spoken at their shock during the arrest
(Image: CBS NY)
Florea, from the borough of Queens in New York City, was
ordered detained pending trial by US Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara at a virtual hearing in Brooklyn.
The judge said the government's allegations suggested that
Florea's January 6 posts "make clear frankly what reflects a
premeditated plan to exact violence against people in New York and people in Washington."
The FBI has made a series of arrests in connection with the Capitol Hill riots.
Alt-right white supremacist hate group The Proud Boys have previously expressed support for Trump.
On being urged to denounce the group during a presidential debate in the run-up to the November election, the outgoing President controversially told them "stand back and stand by".
Members were among those involved in the Capitol raid and appeared amongst other extremist groups at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2018 in which left counter-protestor Heather Heyer was killed.
Up to 20,000 National Guardsmen have been deployed to the Capitol amid fears of further unrest in the run up to Biden's inauguration on January 20.
Right-wing extremist group Patriot Actions for America is reportedly organising a violent rally at the Capitol on Saturday (January 16), according to an unclassified Secret Service intelligence bulletin obtained by Politico.