Dominic Box, a former Savannah resident charged for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., last week for a hearing on whether to revoke his bond, but he didn’t show up.
Box had his license suspended in Jacksonville, Fla., earlier in the month when he refused to take a breathalyzer, an apparent violation of his bond conditions. But his lawyer said he could not attend the Washington hearing because he was in the Jacksonville jail, following a separate incident where a sheriff’s deputy found him unconscious in his car in the parking lot of a barbecue restaurant.
According to a police report, the deputy found the 33-year-old former auto salesman “passed out in the driver’s seat” outside the restaurant around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16. The deputy wrote that a witness saw Box traveling the wrong way down a one-way street before pulling into the restaurant parking lot where he reportedly backed into a yellow, metal pole.
The deputy wrote that Box’s 2009 Ford Escape was still in reverse and noted that Box had watery eyes and slurred speech.
“I attempted to converse with Mr. Box in regards to the crash however he became very irate and could not focus on the conversation,” the deputy wrote. Box refused a breath test for alcohol for the second time in 10 days and was placed under arrest, according to police records. According to the Aug. 16 police report, Box was driving on a suspended license for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test in an incident Aug. 6.
Prior to the Capitol riot, Box was a member of the Savannah Freedom Exchange, an online activist group that orchestrated protests in the summer of 2020 that leaned heavily into QAnon conspiracy theories about child sex trafficking rings. One such event was attended by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, who later said he was there to promote awareness of human trafficking and did not know of the event’s connection to QAnon.
Box has a history as an enthusiastic supporter of conspiracy theories, ranging from the Kennedy assassination to Sept. 11 hoaxes to claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. On Jan. 6, Box livestreamed his march into the Capitol on Facebook, describing the “awesome” crowd as thousands marched on Congress.
“President Trump has called on all of everybody here, all 250,000 of us, to march down Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “Well over 250,000 of us marching to the halls of Congress.”
After Jan. 6, Box left Savannah and settled in Jacksonville and wasn’t arrested on charges related to the riot until last December when the U.S. Department of Justice charged him with four misdemeanors. In a telephone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in January, Box said he still believed the election was stolen, but he separated himself from Trump.
“At the time, I believed in Trump and now I don’t. I don’t now. I’ve lost all respect I had for him,” he said. “He told me he had my back. He doesn’t.”
During the interview, Box talked openly about his struggles with drugs and alcohol and the stress he was under dealing with regular visits and calls from FBI agents for the nearly two years leading up to his arrest.
“I’ll be honest. For a drug addict, that’s a long time,” he said.
Box’s bond on his Jan. 6 charges required him to stay away from drugs, not drink to excess, submit to periodic testing for prohibited substances and participate in substance abuse treatment, if directed. But in a hearing in January, prosecutors said Box had tested positive for marijuana in one test and failed to report for another.
Box’s problems apparently came to a head in Jacksonville where he was charged with DUI, careless driving and possession of an open container of alcohol.In the Aug. 16 police report, the deputy wrote that he had trouble getting Box to focus as he talked to him, adding that Box “started yelling and calling me various racial slurs.”
Box’s attorney, John Machado, said the latest arrest “is clearly a problem” for his client, but he said he was getting substance abuse treatment. Machado said plea negotiations with the Justice Department are ongoing to settle the criminal charges related to the Capitol riot.
This story available through a news exchange and partnership with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.