Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Sprayed Fire Extinguisher at Officers, Illegally Entered Capitol Office, Tore Open a Box, Went Through Papers
WASHINGTON – A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon – a fire extinguisher - 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.
Nicholas James Brockhoff, 21, of Covington, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Brockhoff illegally entered the Capitol grounds, joining a mob on the West side of the Capitol. At approximately 2:32 p.m., he threw an object from his position on the West Terrace towards law enforcement officers. During the confrontation with law enforcement officers, he also discharged the contents of fire extinguishers on multiple occasions and from at least two different locations. Each time he did so, law enforcement officers dispersed, interfering their ability to control the crowd.
Additionally, during the afternoon, while very close to the Lower West Terrace tunnel, Brockhoff obtained a helmet belonging to an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He wore the helmet like a trophy throughout the afternoon, including when he entered a Senate Conference room of the Capitol from a broken window. Brockhoff moved into a hallway and then helped kick a door leading to the entry into another conference room. From inside the conference room, while still wearing the MPD helmet, Brockhoff tore open a box and went through papers in the office. He eventually left the Capitol through a broken window.
Brockhoff was arrested on May 27, 2021, in Counce, Tennessee. He is to be sentenced on March 24, 2023. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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 Eastern District of Kentucky and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Brockhoff as #255 on its seeking information photos, the FBI’s Louisville Field Office and its Covington, Kentucky Resident Agency, and the FBI’s Memphis Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Hardin County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s 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.