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Press Release

Florida Man Convicted of Assaulting Law Enforcement and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – A Florida man was convicted today of assaulting a Prince George's County Police Officer, felony civil disorder, and six misdemeanor offenses, two of which involve physical violence on Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. 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 2020 presidential election.

            U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols found Jesse James Rumson, 38, of Lecanto, Florida, guilty of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses, following a bench trial in District Court.

            In addition to the two felonies, Rumson was found guilty of six 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, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, act of physical violence in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

            Judge Nichols will sentence Rumson on Sept. 5, 2024.

            According to evidence presented during the trial, on Jan. 5, 2021, Rumson drove with a friend from his home in Lecanto, Florida, to Washington, D.C., and on January 6th, attended the Stop the Steal Rally at the Ellipse and, for the first half of his day, was wearing a large headpiece that appeared to be from a panda costume.

            After the rally, Rumson marched with the crowd down Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol grounds. By approximately 2:00 p.m., Rumson was among the thousands of rioters that had breached the Capitol’s restricted perimeter, which was denoted by bike rack barricades with “AREA CLOSED” signs, among other things. As he stood on the Lower West Terrace, near the northwest stairs, Rumson could see rioters battling the outnumbered United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers. Rumson could also see and hear the crowd that was encouraging the rioters to push the officers backward, forcing them to retreat up the steps.

            Rumson then climbed the Northwest Stairs underneath the scaffolding. Around 2:42 p.m., after seeing and hearing another rioter smash in the windows of the Parliamentarian Door and unlatch it from the inside, Rumson bolted to that door, launched himself over the railing to the stairs leading up to it, and entered the Capitol building in his panda headpiece. After an altercation with the police inside the building, Rumson emerged from the same door in handcuffs 13 minutes later, this time without the panda headpiece and backpack, and with red eyes and skin from pepper spray.

            The FBI arrested Rumson on Feb. 27, 2023, in Florida.

            During courtroom proceedings, Judge Nichols found that Rumson’s version of the events of January 6th, to be “absurd” and “patently incompatible with the objective evidence and testimony.”

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida provided valuable assistance.

            The FBI’s Jacksonville and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. Valuable assistance was provided by the Citrus County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 40 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,424 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 500 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

Updated May 24, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-462