Judge denies request to revoke bail of men arrested during Philly vote count

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A judge has denied a request to revoke the bail of two men who were arrested during the vote-counting process in Philadelphia back in November.

However, the judge held Virginia residents Antonio LaMotta and Joshua Macias for trial on election interference charges Thursday morning.

Antonio Lamotta, 61 (left) and Joshua Macias, 42 (right)

The judge dismissed gun charges against Macias since he had a license to carry in his home state of Virginia.

LaMotta will go to trial for carrying an unlicensed gun.

The men had no comment as they entered the Criminal Justice Center.

The commonwealth tried to revoke bail because of their presence at the Capitol during last week's riot, but a judge denied the motion.

SEE ALSO: Armed men arrested near Pennsylvania Convention Center identified
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Police received a tip that individuals, armed with firearms, were on their way to the Convention Center area in a silver Hummer truck.

Macias' defense attorney, William Brennan, says his client never breached the capitol.

"If the government shows me any evidence that our client was inside the building, I'll withdraw as counsel," Brennan said.

LaMotta's attorney had no comment.

The two defendants were arrested in November after a law enforcement bulletin alerted police to look for a Hummer coming to Philadelphia with people intent on interfering with the vote count at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Both were armed with handguns, and an assault rifle was found in the Hummer just steps from the convention center.

A social media video recorded by Macias just before his arrest was played in court. In the video, the Trump supporter called for veterans, law enforcement and others to not give up, get involved and make sure every vote is counted.

But the commonwealth never provided any evidence of intent for bloodshed or violence.

"It would have been a very different case had there been evidence of planned mass shooting," said Asst. District Attorney Andrew Wellbrock.

The judge ordered both men to refrain from any activity like that at the Capitol or he'll hold them in contempt of court.

Both are expected back in court later this month.
Macias and LaMotta are not the only ones from our area who authorities say may be connected to the Capitol riot.

Thomas Baranyi of Ewing, New Jersey was arrested Tuesday, nearly one week after making international headlines for what he witnessed.
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A New Jersey man is now among the dozens of people facing federal charges after last week's siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Baranyi admitted in a TV interview that he was with a group of rioters that stormed the Capitol.

"Riot police came in and started ushering us out with their sticks," he said.

He told reporters he was actually next to fellow rioter, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, when she was shot and killed by Capitol Police inside the building.

"We had stormed in the chambers inside and there was a young lady who rushed through the windows. A number of police and Secret Service were saying 'get back, get down and get out of the way.' She didn't heed the call and as we raced up to grab people and pull them back they shot her in the neck," said Baranyi.

Federal authorities used the TV interview as evidence in court. Baranyi has been charged with disorderly conduct and violent entry of a restricted building. He was released on $100,000 bail.

As Baranyi was leaving the chaotic scene last Wednesday, he told reporters he was not happy with the election results and described how he breached the Capitol.
"We tore through the scaffolding, threw flash bags and tear gas, and blitzed our way in through all the chambers. Just trying to get into Congress or whoever we could get into and tell them we need some kind of investigation into this," Baranyi said.

Seven SEPTA officers are under investigation in Philadelphia after attending the rally for President Donald Trump that preceded the deadly riot, Action News has learned.
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Seven SEPTA officers are under investigation in Philadelphia after attending a rally for President Donald Trump that preceded the deadly riot on Capitol Hill last week, Action News has learned.

SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III confirmed that the investigation is to determine if the officers engaged in criminal behavior or violated departmental policies, and not whether they attended the protest.

"It's their first amendment right. They can do that if they chose, but what we're concerned about is whether they were involved in the criminal activity," Nestel said.

The Philadelphia Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating whether a detective played any role in the riot.

Action News learned earlier this week that one detective reportedly attended the rally in support of President Trump that preceded the insurrection.

Philadelphia police released a statement saying, "We are aware of social media posts that allege that a Philadelphia Police Department detective may have been in attendance at the events on Washington, DC on January 6th. An IAB investigation has been opened to determine if any PPD policies were violated by the detective, and if they participated in any illegal activities while in attendance. The Detective's assignment has been changed pending the outcome of the investigation."

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The Philadelphia Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau is probing whether a detective played any role in Wednesday's riot on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia police are continuing to monitor any possible threats to this area ahead of the presidential inauguration.

They're expected to provide more details Thursday afternoon on their safety efforts and say they are prepared to bring in additional back up if needed.
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