A retired FDNY firefighter from Freeport charged for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol entered the building with other supporters of President Donald Trump, his attorney acknowledged during a court hearing Tuesday, but said he did not participate in vandalism or violent acts.
Thomas Fee, 53, charged in papers filed Saturday with entering the Capitol illegally and with violent entry and disorderly conduct, surrendered to authorities Tuesday. Fee made his first appearance in federal court in Central Islip, where his bail was set at $100,000.
"He is a good man who loves his country and was not part of any attempt to take over the U.S. Capitol," defense attorney Dennis Ring of Queens said.
Authorities learned of Fee’s involvement in the attack on the Capitol because he sent a selfie and a video to his girlfriend’s brother, who is a special agent with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. Fee confirmed he was in the Capitol during the deadly assault that left five people dead, including a police officer, by sending the agent a text that said he was "at the tip of the spear."
Fee worked for the FDNY for 22 years and retired in October, a department spokesman said.
Fee, a former volunteer member of the Hempstead Village Fire Department, was suspended in 2004 for making derogatory racial comments during an incident at the Long Beach Road firehouse, according to a Newsday report. George M. Sandas, who was the chief of the department at the time, said Tuesday that Fee resigned after he was investigated by the department.
Sandas said Fee was a "tremendous firefighter" who had done something foolish. "You couldn’t ask for a better firefighter than Tommy Fee," Sandas said.
Meanwhile, a Queens man who allegedly posted threats on social media to execute Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other elected officials was arrested early Tuesday by the FBI.
Brendan Hunt of Ridgewood urged his followers on Facebook and other social media sites — two days after Trump supporters rioted at the Capitol — to travel to Washington to slaughter senators and representatives, according to court documents. Hunt also urged his followers to use violence to disrupt President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
"If anybody has a gun, give me it, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them," Hunt said in the Jan. 8 post, according to the court papers.
Hunt was ordered held without bail during an arraignment Tuesday afternoon in Brooklyn federal court. His public defender, Leticia Olivera, argued that detention was inappropriate because Hunt did not travel to Washington to participate in the riot.
"The allegations in the complaint do not suggest anything other than a plan to make outlandish posts online from inside his home," she said.
Hunt is an employee of the New York Office of Court Administration, according to the court papers, as well as an actor and filmmaker who posts videos and political rants online under the name "X-Ray Ultra." Hunt was active in the 2011-2012 Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, according to his website.
"Trump, we want actual revenge on democrats," Hunt said on Facebook on Dec. 6. "Meaning, we want you to hold a public execution of pelosi aoc schumer etc. And if you don’t do it the, the citizenry will. We’re not voting in another rigged election. Start up the firing squads, mow down these commies and let’s take america back."
Also, a former Fashion Institute of Technology student who allegedly participated in the Trump supporters’ siege was released Tuesday on $250,000 bail package secured by his mother’s Staten Island home. The FBI learned of Nicolas Moncada’s role in the Jan. 6 siege from FIT faculty members and students who saw selfies and video the 20-year-old posted on social media and reported him to authorities, court documents say.