Larry Brock of Grapevine, Texas turned himself into police after he was identified in photos as a man wearing tactical gear on the Senate floor during a siege of the US Capitol.
Brock, 53, whose full name is Larry Rendell Brock, was identified by his ex-wife, who called the FBI and said she was not surprised to see him in photos of the protests, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in his case. Brock was fired from his job as photos surfaced online and surrendered to authorities, according to NBC News in Dallas-Fort Worth. Brock was a decorated combat veteran who served with the US Air Force and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Brock told The New Yorker he was against the destruction of the Capitol and that he believed he was welcomed into the building. He said he wore tactical gear to protect himself and that he picked up the zip ties to give to a police officer after finding them on the floor. He was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct, according to the US Department of Justice.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brock’s Ex-Wife Told the FBI She ‘Was Afraid He Would Be’ at the Capitol Protest
Brock’s ex-wife, who was not identified in court documents, called the FBI to report she recognized her ex-husband in a photo taken inside the US Capitol. In the photo, he was wearing a military-style helmet, khaki pants, gray and black fatigues over a military vest, and a patch from his military service. The woman said she recognized her ex-husband and his military patch, the FBI said.
“I just know that when I saw this was happening I was afraid he would be there,” she told agents.
She called the FBI National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) on January 8, 2021. They were married for 18 years, she told agents.
2. Brock Was a Fighter Pilot & Combat Veteran Who Retired From the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel
Brock was a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the US Air Force who graduated from the Air Force Academy and served in combat, according to The New Yorker. One of the patches Brock wore in photos was a yellow fleur de lis, the insignia of the 706th Fighter Squadron. He was the chief operations inspector and flight commander with the 706th Fighter Squadron, and led more than two dozen pilots.
Brock retired in 2014, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The New Yorker in a statement.
“This individual is no longer serving in the Air Force Reserve. He retired in 2014. As a private citizen, the Air Force no longer has jurisdiction over him,” the spokesperson said.
Brock told the news outlet he served in Iraq in a non-combat capacity and in Afghanistan. He said he earned three Meritorious Service Medals, six Air Medals, and three Aerial Achievement Medals for his service. His nickname in the military was “Torch.”
A family member told the news outlet Brock saw the world in black and white, a view he developed in the military.
“He used to tell me that I only saw the world in shades of gray, and that the world was black and white,” the family member said.
3. A Second Person to Identify Brock Told the FBI He Still Had Contacts That Knew He Was Flying to Washington, DC
Another person to identify Brock to the FBI said he was an A-10 pilot and that he recognized the pilot wings on his chest in a photo. That photo shows Brock holding flex-cuffs, or zip ties, and wearing a military-style helmet and tactical vest, court documents said.
“It looks like him and he has pilot wings on his chest in this picture. He was an A-lO pilot. Worked at L3, and he still has contacts that work with L3 that knew he was flying to Washington DC,” the person wrote in an email to the FBI January 8, 2021, according to the affidavit.
Brock’s LinkedIn profile, which has now been deleted, described his military service and work.
“In the 706th Fighter Squadron LTC Brock led 30 pilots and directed 15 U.S.A.F. A-10 aircraft in continuous combat operations over seven-month period,” the profile said.
Brock has three children, and The New Yorker described his town of Grapevine as an affluent suburb of Dallas.
The FBI referenced The New Yorker article in its affidavit, citing people who identified Brock to the news outlet from photos.
4. Brock Was Fired From His Job After Photos Circulated & Friends Said He Became Extreme in Recent Years
Brock worked at Hillwood Airways in Fort Worth, but was fired from his job as photos circulated online, according to NBC News in Dallas-Fort Worth.
A friend who served with Brock in the Air Force, Bill Leake, told The New Yorker they grew apart as he became “extreme.”
“I don’t contact him anymore ’cause he’s gotten extreme,” Leake said.
Brock became increasingly more supportive of Trump over the years, and often wore a “Make America Great Again” hat, friends and family members told the news outlet. He posted on social media about his plans to travel to the “Save America” rally. He considered himself a patriot, The New Yorker reported, based on interviews. He said in conversation he was willing to face punishment for what he believed was right.
The family member described “weird rage talk, basically, saying he’s willing to get in trouble to defend what he thinks is right, which is Trump being the President, I guess.”
5. Brock Said He Attended the Rally to Peacefully Protest & Was Upset by the Destruction of the Capitol
Brock told The New Yorker in an interview he was the man in the photos and videos, but said he went to the Washington, DC rally to protest peacefully. He denied holding any racist views and said he believed voter fraud was at play in the election, saying he developed those beliefs through social media. Brock said he believed he was welcome in the Capitol building.
“The President asked for his supporters to be there to attend, and I felt like it was important, because of how much I love this country, to actually be there,” he said.
He said he did not see any violence in the Capitol. He also denied entering Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, saying he “stopped five to ten feet ahead of the sign” with her title on it.
He said he wore tactical gear to protect himself from “B.L.M. and Antifa,” saying “I didn’t want to get stabbed or hurt.” Brock told the news outlet the zip ties pictured in his hand were not his, and that he found them on the floor.
“I wish I had not picked those up,” he said. “My thought process there was I would pick them up and give them to an officer when I see one. . . . I didn’t do that because I had put them in my coat, and I honestly forgot about them.”
He added, “I know it looks menacing. That was not my intent.”