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Press Release

California Men Arrested for Assault on Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Assailant Repeatedly Attacked Police Using Crutch, Metal Pole, Spray

Two California men were arrested today for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 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.

David Nicholas Dempsey, 34, of Van Nuys, and Jeffrey Scott Brown, 54, of Santa Ana, are charged with federal offenses related to their alleged assault and impediment of certain officers. Dempsey is charged with use of a dangerous weapon, obstruction of an official proceeding, and civil disorder in addition to assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. Brown is separately charged with inflicting bodily injury on officers, obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, among other charges. Both men made their initial court appearances today in the Central District of California.

According to court documents, Dempsey was captured in numerous videos taken on the lower west terrace during the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. As depicted, Dempsey wore various outfits, but predominantly a black shirt, dark helmet, goggles and an American flag gaiter covering most of his face. In several still photos, he can be seen using various objects, including a crutch and a metal pole, as bludgeoning weapons or projectiles against the line of law enforcement officers protecting the tunnel in front of the west terrace entrance. Additional video footage shows Dempsey spraying officers with what appears to be a lacrimal agent.

According to court documents, Brown was part of the crowd entering the tunnel at the lower west terrace. Video footage shows him reaching through the crowd towards another rioter, who provides him with a can of spray. Brown can then be seen pointing the can towards the police defensive line and deploying the spray for several seconds in the direction of the police. Brown also participated in the pushing action against officers who were attempting to restrict access to the U.S. Capitol.

The cases are 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.

Both cases are being investigated by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Dempsey as #399 and Brown as #172 in its seeking information photos.

In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 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 August 26, 2021