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Press Release

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

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

            WASHINGTON – A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to two felony charges of assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and those 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.

            Luke Hoffman, 40, of Dover, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to the felony charges before U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss. Judge Moss will sentence Hoffman on Sept. 13, 2024.  

            According to court documents, Hoffman traveled from his home in Kentucky to Washington, D.C., to participate in a political rally. By approximately 1:25 p.m., Hoffman had positioned himself amid a crowd of rioters on the West Plaza of the U.S. Capitol building and grounds. There, Hoffman joined the crowd in confronting a line of law enforcement officers who were attempting to maintain a defensive perimeter between the rioters and the Capitol.

            Hoffman then moved to the front of the crowd of rioters and began to verbally berate the officers manning the police line. Court documents say that when officers attempted to move a segment of metal fencing between themselves and the crowd, Hoffman reacted aggressively. He lunged forward, grabbed the fence segment, and yanked it away from the officers.

            At approximately 2:28 p.m., in nearly the same location, the crowd had grown in size and intensity. As rioters began to overrun the group of officers who were still trying to defend the West Plaza, police lines gave way, and Hoffman attacked a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer. As the officer stood in line with others attempting to keep the rioters at bay, Hoffman sprang out of the crowd, screaming, “What’s up! This is our house!” He then moved toward the officer, who held his baton chest high and in a defensive posture. Hoffman grabbed the baton with both hands and tried to pull it away from the officer while continuing to scream. The officer retained the baton; however, the police line was forced to retreat.  Hoffman and the rest of the crowd marched forward toward the Capitol building.

            Later, at approximately 2:30 p.m., with officers now backed into the southern portion of the West Plaza and surrounded by the crowd, Hoffman again joined the mob’s attack against police. An MPD officer who stood at the front of that group of police attempted to disperse the crowd by spaying some particularly aggressive rioters with OC spray. In response, Hoffman stepped forward from the crowd toward the officer, extended his right arm, and unleashed a burst of OC-based spray at the officer, who ducked to try to avoid it. Hoffman then retreated back into the crowd.

            After attacking the MPD officer, Hoffman advanced closer to the Capitol, up to the Lower West Terrace. There, he proceeded all the way to the Lower West Terrace entrance, known as “the Tunnel,” where some of the most violent attacks against police officers occurred on January 6th.  For more than twenty minutes, Hoffman stood at the threshold of the Tunnel’s entrance, surrounded by a mob of violent rioters.

            While he stood at the mouth of the Tunnel, Hoffman supported other rioters as they attacked the police officers inside. At one point, another rioter, clad in body armor and a helmet, climbed on top of Hoffman and several other rioters. As the armored rioter knelt on Hoffman’s shoulders, he used his elevated position to attack the officers inside the Tunnel with a wooden pole. Hoffman also goaded the crowd around him outside the Tunnel, waving his hand overhead, encouraging the crowd to press further. Finally, at approximately 4:05 p.m., Hoffman left the area outside the Tunnel.

            The FBI arrested Hoffman on July 12, 2023, in Dover, Kentucky.

            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 Eastern District of Kentucky provided valuable assistance.

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

            In the 38 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,358 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 486 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 April 4, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-296