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Press Release

Illinois Man Sentenced For Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Thrust Flagpole Into Police Line, Striking Officer

            WASHINGTON – An Illinois man was sentenced today for assaulting a law enforcement officer 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.  

            James Robert Elliott, 25, of Aurora, Illinois, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered 24 months of supervised release and restitution of $2,000 to the Architect of the Capitol.

            According to court documents, Elliott, who was a member of the Northern Illinois Proud Boys at the time, traveled to Washington, D.C., from Illinois. On the morning of January 6th, Elliott met with another individual to receive a ballistic vest that he had purchased to wear that day. In addition to the vest, Elliott equipped himself with a helmet, hard-knuckle gloves and carried a radio and flag with a wooden pole.

            According to court documents, Elliott marched to the Capitol with other members of the Proud Boys. He approached from the west, crossing over clearly toppled barriers as he arrived at the west plaza. Elliott faced a mob of rioters behind him and yelled a phrase inspired by a battle cry from the movie “300:” “Patriots, what is your occupation?” to which he responded, “Ah-ooh! Ah-ooh! Ah-ooh!” while thrusting his flagpole in the air.

            At approximately 1:40 p.m., while officers were attempting to replace bicycle rack barriers to hold back the mob on the lower west terrace, Elliott swung his flagpole at officers and then thrust it forward into the police line. Court records say that the flagpole made contact with at least one officer. Elliott then advanced to the base of the inauguration scaffolding, where he repeated the battle cry. He was repelled by chemical irritants and did not advance further toward the Capitol building.

            After Jan. 6, Elliott sent text messages describing his actions, saying, among other things, “I bonked 2 cops … never thought I’d say that lol.”

            Elliott was arrested on Dec. 20, 2021, in Batavia, Illinois.

            This case was 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 Northern District of Illinois.

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Chicago and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 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

Updated June 22, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-345