You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Kansas Man Arrested for Assault on a Federal Officer During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Pushed Through Crowds Toward Lines of Police Officers, Yelled at Them and Caused One Officer to Fall Down Flight of Stairs

A Kansas man was arrested yesterday for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Michael Eckerman, 37, of Wichita, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; and disorderly conduct in the Capitol building. Eckerman made his initial court appearance yesterday in U.S. Magistrate Court for the District of Kansas.

According to court documents, Eckerman pushed his way to the front of a crowd outside the crypt of the U.S. Capitol building and yelled at officers. He pushed one officer back several feet, making him fall down a small set of stairs and allowing rioters to move farther inside the Capitol. He then made it to Statuary Hall on the second floor and pushed his way through another set of officers, whom he yelled at for several minutes before making his way through a line of Capitol Police officers. Eckerman then went through the House of Representatives side of the Capitol and entered the Rayburn reception room before exiting the Capitol through the upper house doors.

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 District of Kansas.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Kansas City and Washington Field Offices, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including at least 185 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 tips.fbi.gov.

The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated September 21, 2021