Tennessee Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officer During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON — A Tennessee man was arrested today for assaulting a law enforcement officer and breaking a window and damaging a door during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Edward Kelley, 33, of Maryville, Tennessee, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, destruction of government property, and related offenses. He was arrested in Knoxville and is to make his initial appearance today in the Eastern District of Tennessee.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Kelley was among a crowd of rioters illegally gathered at the Capitol Building. He was wearing a gas mask and green tactical helmet and had a backpack secured across his chest. Kelley moved to the scaffolding over the stairs of the West Front of the Capitol Building, where he and two other men got into an altercation with a Capitol Police officer. Kelley also pushed and pulled on a metal barricade as he made his way to the outside of the Senate Wing Door. He then used a piece of wood to breach the window adjacent to the Senate Wing Door. He was the fourth rioter to enter the building through the window. After entering through the breached window, Kelley moved to the still closed Senate Wing Door and kicked it open, which allowed other rioters to enter. As he moved through the building, Kelley changed from the gas mask into a red, white, and blue medical mask, eventually entering the Rotunda. Kelley left the building approximately 40 minutes after he first broke in.

            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 Tennessee.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 15 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

            An indictment or complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.