Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 22, 2024
Maryland Man Charged With Assaulting Cops During Jan. 6 MeleeSource: Google Street View

A Maryland man has been cuffed for his alleged role in the violent Jan. 6 Capitol breach. Thomas Joseph Kelly Jr., 36, of Middletown, faces both felony and misdemeanor charges, accused of using a weapon to assault law enforcement officers during the turmoil that engulfed Capitol Hill as Congress met to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

Kelly, arrested in his hometown, is slammed with tough charges—civil disorder, assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, and again with a dangerous weapon, according to a statement by the Justice Department. With five misdemeanors to top off those felonies, he's been in the eyes of law enforcement for over three hours caught on restricted grounds of the Capitol during the riot. Not only was Kelly allegedly seen attacking cops, ignoring warning signs and barricades, but he was also front and center with a metal-framed "TRUMP" sign used as a battering ram against the police lines.

Open-source video footage has painted Kelly in an incriminating light, showing him shouting insults at police officers and appearing to revel in the chaos as another rioter blasted a chemical irritant at the police. Aggressively confronting police, he was allegedly thrusting into the police line during the breach and making physical contact with an officer, placing Kelly at the heart of the turmoil, according to court documents obtained by the Justice Department.

The FBI nabbed Kelly after identifying him as BOLO AFO (Be on the Lookout Assault Federal Officer) #189 amid its call for public assistance on the case. Video captured him holding a long pole fashioned with metal screw eyes, recklessly pursuing police officers up a staircase built for the Inaugural Stage. According to the body-worn camera footage of the police, Kelly used this pole to jab officers before passing it on to another rioter who continued the assault.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case. The FBI’s Baltimore and Washington Field Offices played a crucial role in the arrest of Kelly, with additional aid provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. In the grim tally that has unfolded since the catastrophic day in American history, over 1,424 individuals have been charged across the nation for crimes tied to the Capitol breach—more than 500 of those for assaulting or impeding law enforcement.