Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 19, 2024
Knoxville Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Police in Capitol Riot MeleeSource: U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia

A Tennessee man has entered a plea of guilty to the charge of assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The event significantly disrupted the proceedings of the U.S. Congress, which was gathered to tally and confirm the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.

Michael Tyler Roberts, a 34-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, admitted to the felony in front of U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta. Scheduled to sentence Roberts on December 6, 2024, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Roberts was captured on camera amongst other rioters at the Lower West Terrace Tunnel entrance, which was one of the locations that saw intense violence against the police.

Court filings revealed that Roberts was seen forcing his way up on top of other individuals engaged in the riot to reach the police who were stationed to guard the Capitol. Initiating physical confrontations, Roberts reportedly grappled with the officers, grabbing their hands and arms, for a span of about three minutes.

The investigation, which brought Roberts to justice, was a combined effort by the FBI's Knoxville and Washington Field Offices. The offices identified Roberts as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #266. The valuable evidence that the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided support for the case. Over the 41 months following the incident, charges have been brought against more than 1,450 people from across the nation for their roles in the Capitol breach, with over 500 of these cases involving assault or the impedance of law enforcement.