Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Pulled Police Officer Down a Flight of Stairs
WASHINGTON – An Alabama man pleaded guilty on Monday, June 26, 2023, to a felony charge related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Bobby Wayne Russell, 49, of Falkville, Alabama, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to one count of Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers and Aiding and Abetting, a felony offense. U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth scheduled a sentencing hearing for November 17, 2023.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Russell was among rioters confronting officers at a line of bike rack barricades on the southwest side of the Capitol grounds. Russell resisted officers’ efforts to get him to back away from the barricade. He held a section of bike rack pressed between his upper arm and side, clinging to it despite being sprayed with OC spray. When the barricade broke apart due to the involvement of other rioters, Russell grabbed the jacket of a Metropolitan Police Department officer, pulling the officer down with him as he fell headlong down a short flight of stairs.
Later that day, court documents say that at approximately 4:20 pm, law enforcement officers formed a line and attempted to clear the area near the Senate wing doors. Russell refused orders to leave the area and pushed his back and buttocks into the riot shields of several officers. He then turned around to face one officer and declared, ““There’s more of us than you guys, you’re gonna lose.”
The charge of Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers and Aiding and Abetting carries a statutory maximum sentence of eight years in prison. A federal court judge will determine the appropriate sentence after considering all factors and the U.S. Sentencing guidelines. All charges carry potential financial penalties.
The 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 Northern District of Alabama.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office and Washington Field Office, which identified Russell as #492 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 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.