FBI arrests Maryland man charged with assaulting officers during Jan. 6 riot

A Maryland man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly assaulting law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Joseph Kelly Jr., 36, was at the Capitol for more than three hours during the Jan. 6 insurrection during which he allegedly assaulted and interfered with police officers while trespassing, prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.

At one point during the riot, Kelly was captured on video surveillance holding a long pole in pursuit of police officers inside a tunnel that led into the Capitol, per the FBI’s arrest affidavit.

While inside the tunnel, Kelly allegedly “jabbed and thrust the pole” into the police line and used the end of the pole to hit an officer in the head, the FBI said. He then gave the pole to another rioter who assaulted more officers, according to the affidavit.

The FBI said the officer whom Kelly hit with a pole lost consciousness for a few seconds and later dealt with vision loss and “degraded consciousness.”

Earlier in the riots, Kelly was seen on video apparently yelling obscenities toward the police line, while discussing the need to “rush” the officers, the FBI said.

Another video showed Kelly apparently cheering while another rioter used pepper spray at the police line and helping another rioter use a “TRUMP” metal sign to assault police.

Kelly was listed as No. 189 on the FBI’s Capitol Violence webpage, which includes the bureau’s “most wanted” list of suspected rioters.

The FBI was tipped off in February 2022 about publicly available photos of Kelly online, which helped the bureau eventually identify him, the affidavit noted. To confirm his identify, the FBI accessed his wife’s Amazon account purchases, which included receipts for several of the items Kelly was wearing or holding during the riot.

These items included running shoes, Zionor snow goggles and a flag titled “Trump Law & Order 2nd Amendment Guns Flag Trump Flag Make America Great Again,” the affidavit stated.

Kelly, of Middletown, Md., is facing felony offenses of civil disorder, assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, along with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon. He also faces five demeanor offenses.

Kelly is expected to make an initial appearance in D.C.

More than 1,420 people in nearly all 50 states have been charged for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

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