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Press Release

California Man Arrested for Violence on Capitol Grounds during Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Pushed Large Metal Sign into Officers, Sprayed them with Chemical

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, a California man was arrested for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Sean Michael McHugh, 34, of Auburn, California, is charged with federal offenses that include assault on law enforcement with a deadly or dangerous weapon; obstruction of justice; and physical violence on Capitol grounds, among other charges. McHugh made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of California on May 28.

According to court documents, McHugh was on the Lower West Terrace on the afternoon of Jan. 6 where he was captured on Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) body worn camera (BWC) footage and audio assaulting multiple U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers. BWC audio captures McHugh yelling at officers, among other things, “You’re protecting communists!”; “There is a second amendment behind us, what are you going to do then?”; and “You ain’t holding the line!”. At approximately 1:40 p.m., McHugh, along with other rioters, pushed a large metal sign into a line of uniformed police officers while McHugh yelled into his megaphone, “Put it up there! Put it up there!” McHugh is further captured on video shooting officers with an unknown, yellow chemical spray and with the same cannister of spray holstered at his right hip.

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 Eastern District of California

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office. 

In the first 120 days after Jan. 6, approximately 440 individuals have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including over 125 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

The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 28, 2021

National Security