Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 22, 2024
Louisiana Lout Cops to Capitol Craze, Bayou Boy Guilty in January 6 Riot MeleeSource: Unsplash/ Wesley Tingey

A Louisiana man has admitted to a felony for his role in the tumultuous Capitol riot that occurred on January 6, 2021. Colby Purkel, 27, from Covington pleaded guilty to civil disorder after being charged alongside his father for their actions during the breach that upended a joint session of Congress tasked with certifying the presidential election results.

Colby Purkel and his father Willard Colby, Jr., 51, were arrested in November 2023, with the senior Purkel's trial yet to be set. Colby’s sentencing is scheduled for August 1, 2024, by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg. According to a statement from the Department of Justice, the younger Purkel was among the rioters who struggled with police to gain entrance into the Capitol through the East Rotunda doors.

Prosecutors detailed that at approximately 3:07 p.m. on the day of the riot, Colby Purkel assisted in preventing law enforcement from securing the doors against an incoming tide of rioters. He was later part of a crowd that overcame the police blockade, streaming into the lobby outside the Rotunda. The clash between protestors and police marked a violent attempt to disrupt the ceremonial counting of electoral votes.

Eventually, the defendant was removed from the Rotunda but lingered illegally on Capitol grounds before moving to the building's west side, where he and other rioters were met by police trying to clear the area. The case is largely handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, alongside the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The investigation, led by the FBI's field offices in New Orleans and Washington, has also been supported by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. Since the events of January 6, over 1,385 individuals from nearly every state have faced charges related to the Capitol breach, highlighting an extensive probe into the incident that has seen approximately 500 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.