Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 17, 2024
Capitol Clash, Pennsylvania Man Cuffed for Assaulting Officers with Weapon During Jan 6 RiotSource: Google Street View

Joshua Lee Atwood, a 31-year-old man from Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, was taken into custody on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his alleged participation in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to a report by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Atwood stands accused of assaulting law enforcement with a weapon among other offenses.

The FBI arrested Atwood and he made his initial appearance in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Detailed in court documents, Atwood was captured on video at the capitol's Lower West Terrace Tunnel, where some of the most vicious clashes against officers took place. He was allegedly seen picking up a bottle and hurling it at the police, striking one officer with a weapon that appeared to be a long wooden pole, and using a purloined police riot shield to bash another officer's shield.

Felonies levied against Atwood include civil disorder, assaulting officers with deadly or dangerous weapons, and acts of violence in a restricted building. The misdemeanors he faces involve disorderly conduct and unauthorized demonstration on Capitol grounds. An open-source photograph is cited as evidence, showing Atwood post-assault, clutching a riot shield at the entrance to the Tunnel.

Depictions from January 6 place Atwood in the act of throwing objects at officers and wielding a wooden pole "in a stabbing motion with a significant amount of force," the U.S. Attorney’s Office detailed. Audio from the fray also captured Atwood’s disdain for the officers, as he is heard hurling insults and questioning their patriotism. He later rooms with other rioters in Senate Terrace Room 2—Mezzanine, an enclosed area within restricted Capitol building.

This case is prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section, with the FBI’s Pittsburgh and Washington Field Offices leading the investigation. Assistance in the case was also provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department. Notably, Atwood was identified as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #229 in the FBI's search for suspects involved in the breach.