Houston News : Former HPD officer, Spring veteran connected to U.S. Capitol riot appear in federal court


A former HPD police officer and a Spring man appeared in federal court Thursday to face charges for their connection to the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.

The two defendants in the federal investigation include 18-year veteran HPD officer Tam Pham and Spring military veteran, Joshua Lollar, according to court documents.

Both Pham and Lollar were each issued a $50,000 bond for their involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. A federal judge also ordered Pham to surrender his U.S. and Vietnamese passports and instructed him to not have any communication with law enforcement.

CAPITOL RIOT CHARGES:  HPD officer involved in the U.S. Capitol insurrection slapped with federal charges

After HPD Chief Art Acevedo first discovered Pham’s involvement in the Capitol takeover, Pham was put on administrative leave and then resigned last week. He was then arrested on Wednesday, January 20.

“We are also auditing arrests made by this former officer to ensure there are no irregularities, to include the review of his body worn camera footage related to his arrests,” Acevedo tweeted.

Chief @ArtAcevedo statement on today’s arrest of a former Houston police officer involved in last week’s protest and riot at the nation’s Capitol. #hounews pic.twitter.com/gKkHLg3s5b

— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) January 20, 2021

Pham initially told federal agents that he went the Trump rally at 7.a.m, and then later entered the Rotunda to look at the “historical art on the walls.”

“I shouldn’t have done it,” Pham told the Houston Chronicle. “I was there to take pictures.”

Pham was formally charged Tuesday after federal agents discovered deleted images on his cell phone which captured him inside the U.S. Capitol building. He is charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

According to Pham’s attorney, Nicole DeBorde, Pham has expressed shame for what happened.

“He went to see the last speech that President Trump was giving and then ultimately ended up getting swept up in the crowd that moved from the speech down the mall to the Capitol,” DeBorde told KHOU.

Spring military veteran, Joshua Lollar was reportedly captured on a Facebook Live video fighting with officers on U.S. Capitol grounds, according to ABC-13. Lollar’s father defended his son’s actions.

“He’s not a domestic terrorist or insurrectionist,” Grover Loller told ABC-13.  “He went for a rally. They just rushed down there, and he got swept along.”

Houston Forum

Source : chron.com