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DIGGING DEEPER: ‘Proud Boy’ with Northeast Indiana roots arrested in connection to Capitol Hill riot

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- A man with ties to Northeast Indiana has been identified as one of the people who stormed Capitol Hill during the Jan. 6 session of Congress.

In an article published Thursday, CNN identified Hawaii Proud Boy Founder Nick Ochs as one of the people who entered the Capitol Wednesday when demonstrators stormed the building.

Ochs told CNN, "We didn't have to break in. I just walked in and filmed."

"We didn't have to break in. I just walked in and filmed."

-Nick Ochs during CNN Interview

Ochs later posted a picture of himself inside the Capitol.

https://twitter.com/OchsForHawaii/status/1346927847361966088

ABC21 has confirmed that the 34-year-old Ochs previously resided in Huntington County and attended Huntington North High School.

After graduating, Ochs joined the United States Marine Corps and eventually moved to the island state, where was the Vice Chair of Donald Trump's 2016 Hawaii campaign. He also attended the University of Hawaii, where he obtained a degree in journalism.

A 2018 article published by the University of Hawaii's student-run media outlet detailed Ochs' decision to found the Hawaii chapter of the controversial "Proud Boys" after the 2016 election.

In the article he said: “Once the campaign was over, I realized that there was nothing here for people like me. There is something for every stripe of Leftism you’re into, but there’s nothing for conservatives to come together and have their own little safe space."

The "Proud Boys" are designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC description reads, in part, "Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists."

Beyond starting the Hawaiian chapter of the Proud Boys, Ochs was a 2020 Republican nominee for Hawaii's State House of Representatives (District 22). He was defeated in November by Democrat Adrian Tam.

According to KHON, Ochs was taken into federal custody upon returning to Honolulu. He is charged with "Unlawful Entry into Restricted Buildings or Grounds."

ABC21 has reached out to Ochs for comment and is awaiting a response.

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