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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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

Defendant Shoved Officers, Participated in Tunnel “Heave-Ho,” and Illegally Entered Capitol

            WASHINGTON — A Connecticut man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, 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 ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Benjamin Cohen, 21, of Westport, Connecticut, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses. In addition to the felonies, Cohen is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings.

            Cohen was arrested today in Westport and made his initial appearance in the District of Connecticut.

            According to court documents, Cohen was identified by law enforcement authorities among the crowd of rioters gathered along a police line on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. Just before 2:29 p.m., open-source video and body-worn camera footage show Cohen joining rioters in breaching the police line and moving toward a group of officers. Cohen is then seen making physical contact with the group of officers by pushing and shoving them with his hands as the crowd surges forward. Seconds later, Cohen rushes toward the officers again, shoving and striking officers with his hands. At some point shortly thereafter, video footage shows Cohen standing in the crowd of rioters, where he can be heard shouting, “Our House!”

            Later, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Cohen is seen entering the Lower West Terrace tunnel, joining other rioters assembling against a police line. Cohen then makes his way deeper into the mob and begins to push against a rioter in front of him as additional rioters join the effort around him. Together, the mob pushed in a concerted “heave-ho” effort against the police line in the tunnel.

            After the first “heave-ho”, Cohen participated in subsequent efforts in the tunnel against the police line. At approximately 2:56 p.m., a rush of additional rioters entered the tunnel, and those rioters, including Cohen, engaged in another “heave-ho” effort by moving their bodies in unison back and forth, pushing with coordinated force against the police.

            By approximately 3:05 p.m., Cohen made his way back to the tunnel entrance and began rinsing his eyes after having apparently been sprayed by officers. Cohen remained with the mob just outside the tunnel until at least approximately 4:01 p.m., where he continued to assist combined efforts by the mob to push back into the tunnel.

            Court documents say that at some point thereafter, Cohen was photographed inside an office inside the Capitol building situated with a window, which had been broken, just to the left of the tunnel entrance. Cohen is then seen in open-source video departing this office through the broken window.

            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 District of Connecticut.

            This case is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven and Washington Field Offices, which identified Cohen as BOLO (“Be On the Look Out”) #379 on its seeking information photos.

            Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. 

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

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

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 9, 2023