WASHINGTON — A North Carolina man was arrested today for assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Matthew Jason Beddingfield, 21, of Middlesex, North Carolina, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and related offenses. He was arrested in Smithfield, North Carolina, and will make his initial appearance tomorrow in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, at approximately 12:58 p.m., Beddingfield jumped over a barricade and charged towards a group of U.S. Capitol Police officers who were near the scaffolding that had previously been erected outside the southwest side of the building. A crowd surrounded the officers. At approximately 1:06 p.m., Beddingfield attacked the officers, jabbing at them with a metal flagpole he brought with him. Soon thereafter, he can be seen throwing a metal rod at law enforcement. He remained on the restricted grounds, moving about, before entering the Capitol at approximately 2:38 p.m. through a door on the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace.
Once inside the Capitol, Beddingfield made his way to the Great Rotunda before joining a group of rioters who attempted to storm the Senate Wing. He was towards the front of the rioters and once again, appeared to use his metal flagpole to strike or attempt to strike law enforcement officers. He and the other rioters returned to the Great Rotunda after a chemical irritant was deployed. He continued walking around the Capitol and entered the office of at least one Congressperson before finally leaving the Capitol at approximately 3:07. Beddingfield spent approximately 30 minutes inside the Capitol and about two hours on the restricted grounds.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The case is being investigated by the FBI Charlotte Field Office’s Raleigh Resident Agency, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the one year since Jan. 6, more than 725 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 225 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
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