Two men charged with gun offenses near Philadelphia vote counting center

By Ted Hesson and Ned Parker WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men were charged with gun offenses in Philadelphia on Friday after they were arrested the previous night near a vote counting site that has become a focal point for election-related protests, according to the city district attorney's office. Antonio LaMotta, 61, and Joshua Macias, 41, allegedly drove to Philadelphia from Virginia in a Hummer SUV and had two loaded semi-automatic handguns, one semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and ammunition, the district attorney's office said

Reuters November 07, 2020 07:10:09 IST
Two men charged with gun offenses near Philadelphia vote counting center

Two men charged with gun offenses near Philadelphia vote counting center

By Ted Hesson and Ned Parker

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men were charged with gun offenses in Philadelphia on Friday after they were arrested the previous night near a vote counting site that has become a focal point for election-related protests, according to the city district attorney's office.

Antonio LaMotta, 61, and Joshua Macias, 41, allegedly drove to Philadelphia from Virginia in a Hummer SUV and had two loaded semi-automatic handguns, one semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and ammunition, the district attorney's office said.

Pennsylvania has become one of a handful of states that could decide the U.S. presidential election following Tuesday's vote. If Democrat Joe Biden can retain a narrow lead in that state over Republican President Donald Trump, it would give him the presidency.

Protesters supporting both candidates have gathered outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in recent days for what have been largely peaceful demonstrations.

LaMotta and Macias were each charged with carrying a concealed firearm, a felony, and carrying a firearm on public streets or property, a misdemeanor.

Local media reports showed stickers on the suspects' vehicle promoting QAnon, a pro-Trump online conspiracy theory. The unfounded theory posits that Trump is secretly fighting a global cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and "deep state" allies.

Facebook and Twitter accounts that appeared to belong to LaMotta show numerous postings related to the conspiracy theory.

"QAnon is a positive military operation that is working to take down the deep state," reads one April Facebook post.

Anita LaMotta, the suspect's mother, told Reuters in a telephone interview that he had traveled to Philadelphia because "he wanted to help" in the event riots broke out.

LaMotta and Macias did not respond to requests for comment. It was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys.

Macias billed himself online as a strategic adviser for a grassroots group called Vets for Trump. A group spokesman said Macias was no longer affiliated with them.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington and Ned Parker in New York; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.