Skip to main content
Press Release

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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

           WASHINGTON – An Illinois man pleaded guilty today to assaulting law enforcement 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.

           William Lewis, 57, of Burbank, Illinois, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras.  Judge Contreras will sentence Lewis on Dec. 18, 2024.

           According to court documents, Lewis traveled from Burbank to Washington, D.C., to attend the ‘Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. After attending the rally, Lewis made his way to the West Plaza, which was, by that time, overrun with rioters. At the West Plaza, United States Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers were attempting to maintain lines of defense and were struggling to prevent rioters from advancing further to the Capitol building.

           Court documents indicate that Lewis sprayed streams of wasp and hornet spray at police officers on multiple occasions. As a result of his actions, at least one MPD officer was forced to immediately remove himself from the defensive line and seek treatment. Another experienced a burning sensation on their face and eyes.

           Shortly after these incidents, Lewis ascended to the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol building. There, Lewis used a stolen police baton to smash three different panes (one quarter-moon, and two smaller square panes) of a large window immediately to the right (south) of the Lower West Terrace Tunnel.

The FBI arrested Lewis on Nov. 9, 2023, in Burbank, Illinois.

           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 Northern District of Illinois provided valuable assistance. 

           This case was investigated by the by the FBI’s Chicago and Washington Field Offices, which identified Lewis as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) AFO (Assault on Federal Officer) #283 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by 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 June 3, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-480