WASHINGTON — A Kentucky man was arrested today on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement officers, 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 presidential election.
Joseph Howe, 40, of Magnolia, Kentucky, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and destruction of government property, as well as related misdemeanor offenses. Howe was arrested in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He is expected to make his initial appearance later today in the Western District of Kentucky.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Howe and others left a rally near the Ellipse and headed towards the U.S. Capitol. En route, Howe was recorded on a camera stating, “We’re getting into that building.” Howe was wearing a body armor-style vest underneath his outer jacket. Upon arriving near the Capitol, Howe and others illegally entered the grounds. Howe went to the front of a mob of rioters confronting law enforcement officers at bike rack barriers near the scaffolding of the northwest steps. Police officers struggled for control of barriers, and some used their batons to try to keep the rioters away. A few minutes later, Howe can be seen on video wielding a baton, similar to those used by police. By then, he also was wearing eye goggles and a gas mask.
Once the police line was broken, Howe ran up the stairway toward the Upper West Terrace. As he ran up the stairs, he pushed a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Howe was among the first rioters to reach the Upper West Terrace and Senate Wing Door. He kicked the door at nearly the same time that the building was first breached by rioters. He then went inside at approximately 2:13 p.m. He moved through the building including the Crypt. In the Crypt, he verbally engaged with law enforcement officers, pushing forward through the police line. He exited the Crypt at 2:38 p.m.
This 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 Western District of Kentucky.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Louisville Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 21 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 880 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 270 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.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.