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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 4, 2022

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Pushed Police Line, Grabbed Officer’s Riot Shield

            WASHINGTON – A Baltimore man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge 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 2020 presidential election.

            Narayana Rheiner, 41, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Rheiner was part of a mob illegally massed on the Upper West Plaza of the Capitol. Law enforcement officers there were maintaining a police line to prevent the mob from advancing further. At approximately 2:04 p.m., Rheiner went to the front of the police line, and waved other rioters to come forward, yelling at them to “push up” on the line. He pushed against officers and grabbed an officer’s riot shield. He pulled the riot shield out of the officer’s hands, and the officer fell on the ground.

            At approximately 2:44 p.m., Rheiner entered the Capitol through the Upper West Terrace Door. He and other rioters proceeded to the Rotunda area. He joined a group that was attempting to gain access to a hallway that was blocked by officers. Officers deployed chemical irritants against the rioters. Rheiner yelled at them, “You know how many times I’ve been sprayed today? That s--- ain’t nothing!” He also yelled, “Why don’t you just go home!” and “We’re not backing up!” Rheiner ultimately left the Capitol Building through a broken window at about 2:57 p.m.

            Rheiner was arrested on March 2, 2022, in Baltimore. He is to be sentenced on March 16, 2023. He faces a statutory maximum of five 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 District of Maryland.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Rheiner as #384 in its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            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.

Updated November 4, 2022