Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Assault of a Police Officer and Obstructing During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Assaulted Several Police Officers, Boasted of Struggle that Left Officer Injured
WASHINGTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty on Oct. 25, 2023, to two felony charges for 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 2020 presidential election.
Daniel Paul Gray, 43, of Jacksonville, Fla., admitted that he assaulted an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department and that he both made contact with the officer and acted with the intent to commit another felony.
Gray pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Columbia on Oct. 25, 2023, to two felony counts: obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. Judge Jackson scheduled sentencing for Feb. 16, 2024.
According to court documents, Gray anticipated violence at the Capitol in the days leading up to January 6. In social media posts and private texts to friends, Gray wrote, “Militia finna be lit’all!!!” and “Sh[*]ts about to get lit y’all. I’m actually really excited at the possibility of the insurrection act being implemented.” Gray believed the election had been “stolen” through fraud and did not want Congress to certify the election.
On January 6, following the rally at the Ellipse, Gray made his way to a restricted area of the Capitol building on the west plaza steps as early as 2:25 p.m. He was present when the police line fell on the west side of the Capitol and followed police as they retreated from the mob. At 2:41 p.m., Gray entered the Capitol through the Upper West Terrace doors.
According to his signed plea agreement, Gray engaged in confrontations against law enforcement officers attempting to prevent rioters from entering the Rotunda.
At 2:58 p.m., Gray was at the front of the mob when he approached an officer at the front of the defensive line. The officer told him several times to back up, then pushed Gray back with his baton. In response, Gray shoved the officer with his hands.
A few minutes later, at 3:01 p.m., body-worn camera footage captured images of Gray as he and other rioters pushed the police line to the edge of a marble staircase. Gray shoved an officer, making contact with her baton and knocking her off balance. The officer fell down the marble staircase and, as a result, suffered a concussion and chronic back pain.
Gray and other rioters continued to press against the police line until additional officers steered the mob out of the east side of the Capitol building at 3:12 p.m.
Gray later posted a four-minute video to his Instagram account boasting about his actions during the riot. In that clip, Gray bragged: “We start pushing the police out the back of the Capitol; we pushed them from the front to the back of the Capitol.” He described how the rioters arrived at the staircase and started “pushing them [the police] down the staircase.” That evening, he wrote, “Dude we literally took Congress over. I don’t wanna say too much more lol was the rowdiest thing I’ve ever done and you know me lol.” In social media messages Gray sent after Jan. 6, he further boasted, “Lol I was one of the first in the capital.”
The FBI arrested Gray on May 18, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla.
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 Middle District of Florida.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Jacksonville and Washington Field Offices, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 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.
Updated October 26, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-652