California Man Arrested on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
WASHINGTON — A California man was arrested today on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to his actions during 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 certify the Electoral College vote related to the 2020 presidential election.
Michael Haltom, 43, of Norwalk, California, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. In addition to the felonies, Haltom is charged with misdemeanor offenses of destruction of government property, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a Capitol building, engaging in an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Haltom was arrested today by the FBI in the Los Angeles area. He will make his initial appearance in the Central District of California.
According to court documents, Haltom was identified on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, among a crowd of rioters near the Peace Circle Monument located on the northwest corner of the grounds near the Pennsylvania Walkway. Haltom is depicted on video footage moving southeast on the Pennsylvania Walkway in the direction of the Capitol building.
Video footage also captures Haltom closer to the building in the West Plaza area of U.S. Capitol grounds where scaffolding was being constructed in advance of the Presidential Inauguration. At approximately 1:30 p.m., Haltom stood near the police line preventing rioters from further advancing toward the Capitol. Haltom is seen on video footage waving other rioters forward gesturing them to push back on the bike rack barricades used by law enforcement to maintain their defensive line. Court documents say that Haltom himself repeatedly pushed on the barricades as police officers attempted to hold back the crowd. Law enforcement officers deployed OC spray to disperse the crowd; however, Haltom remained, using both hands to push against the bike-rack barricade even as police deployed OC spray directly toward him.
Haltom then moved north from the West Plaza toward the covered scaffolding erected over the Northwest Staircase. Rioters overran the entryway to this staircase, and Haltom and others pushed forward into the scaffolding and onto the staircase. Haltom continued to wave other rioters forward. At about 2:09 p.m., after overrunning multiple police lines, rioters ascended to the top of the Northwest Staircase to the Upper West Terrace area, which provided access to the west side of the Capitol building. Haltom moved with the crowd up the stairs after police lines were overrun. Haltom then made his way to the Senate Wing Door entryway on the west side of the building. He was among the first rioters to reach the Senate Wing Door area.
At approximately 2:12 p.m., rioters used a police shield and lumber taken from the inauguration scaffolding to smash the of the Senate Wing Door. Rioters then climbed through those windows and kicked open the door to allow access to other rioters. Haltom climbed through the broken window at about 2:13 p.m., less than one minute after the first rioter breached the Capitol building that day.
After entering the Capitol, Haltom made his way toward the Senate side of the building with other rioters. He eventually reached the entryway to a staircase where he and others confronted a United States Capitol Police officer, who was blocking their advance. Haltom and others yelled at and moved toward that Officer, who eventually began retreating up the staircase behind him. Haltom was the second person from the front of the crowd pursuing the officer up the stairs.
Haltom eventually made his way to the Crypt, the House of Representatives side of the Capitol building, and hallway outside the Speaker of the House’s Lobby. There, in the hallway, Haltom attempted to forcefully kick open a large wooden door leading in the direction of the Speaker’s Lobby and House Chamber. Haltom exited the building after being directed out by law enforcement at 2:56 p.m.
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 Central District of California.
This case is being investigated by the FBI's Los Angeles and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 36 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,265 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated January 24, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-51