Temple alumnus marched in Capitol insurrection

Social media videos show Zach Rehl, the president of the Philadelphia Proud Boys, leading a group of 100 rioters toward the U.S. Capitol building during the deadly protest against President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Zach Rehl, a 2016 Fox School of Business alumnus, stands among a mob heading toward the U.S. Capitol building during the insurrection on Jan. 6. | SCREENSHOT / EDDIE BLOCK

Zach Rehl, a 2016 marketing alumnus and self-described president of Philadelphia’s chapter of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, was filmed assisting other national Proud Boys leaders during the deadly insurrection at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

During the insurrection, a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building as congressional representatives met to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, the Associated Press reported. Members of the mob vandalized representatives’ offices and threatened their lives, and their actions resulted in the death of five people. Trump, congressional representatives and far-right militant groups like QAnon conspiracy believers encouraged the mob’s actions, the New York Times reported

In videos posted to social media of the Jan. 6 attack, Rehl is seen wearing a Temple University Owls backpack while leading a crowd of roughly 100 rioters toward the U.S. Capitol building, often raising his fist or stopping to smoke a cigarette, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Rehl graduated from the Fox School of Business in 2016 and earned a master’s degree in innovation management and entrepreneurship from the school in 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. He currently works as an independent insurance agent.

Rehl has not been arrested for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, despite two of the Proud Boys leaders he was filmed assisting — Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs — being charged in Washington and Florida earlier this week. Notably, Rehl has not posted videos to his personal social media accounts of his involvement in the attack, unlike many of those facing criminal charges for it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

As a leader of Philadelphia’s Proud Boys chapter, Rehl has attended and organized multiple far-right events, including a counterprotest against a march calling for Trump’s impeachment in July 2017, the pro-Trump “We the People” rally near Independence Hall in 2018 and a “Back the Blue” after-party for former Vice President Mike Pence at the Fraternal Order of Police lounge in Northeast Philadelphia.

Rehl did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

President Richard Englert condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building in a statement on Jan. 7, The Temple News reported

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday was a frightening moment in our nation’s history brought about by those who attempted to challenge that foundational belief,” Englert wrote that day. “We unequivocally and wholeheartedly denounce the violence and mayhem we witnessed.”

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