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WASHINGTON — A Michigan man has been arrested on felony assault and other charges for acts committed 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.
Lawrence Silas Billiter, 30, of Flint, Michigan, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and civil disorder. In addition to the felonies, Billiter is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, and parading, picketing, and demonstrating in a Capitol building.
Billiter was arrested today in Michigan and will make his initial appearance in the Eastern District of Michigan.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Billiter attended the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse wearing a tan backpack, a red, white, and blue neck gaiter or bandana, blue gloves, carrying a U.S. flag, and, at times, wearing a bicycle helmet or a green military-style helmet with a face shield. After the rally, Billiter made his way to the northwest plaza area of the Capitol grounds carrying a metal pole.
In an open-source video, Billiter is observed approaching United States Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers in riot gear behind a line of bike racks and attempting to pull a bike rack away from the officers. During the encounter, Billiter held out the metal pole in the officer’s direction and struck the bike rack with the pole. Billiter is then seen throwing the metal pole at a USCP officer. After throwing the pole, Billiter appeared to be sprayed with a riot control agent by an MPD officer.
At approximately 2:42 p.m., Billiter entered the U.S. Capitol building through the Senate Parliamentarian door after the windows were broken by other rioters. As the crowd of rioters forced their way into the building, police officers responded to the doors as they were being broken and breached. Billiter is then seen among the crowd of rioters as it surged towards police, causing the officers to retreat. Billiter is then seen exiting through the same door approximately 2 minutes later, appearing to be suffering the effects of a chemical irritant.
At approximately 3:08 p.m., Billiter made a second entrance into the U.S. Capitol building through the Senate Wing Door. Upon his second entrance, Billiter is observed walking around the building and entering an office space. Billiter later exited the Capitol building a second time and remained on the grounds, and close to the building itself, for approximately an hour and a half before authorities pushed rioters en masse off the grounds. Billiter was among the last group of individuals on the U.S. Capitol steps as authorities attempted to push back the crowd. Billiter and several other rioters were then seen pushing a large metal construction box against a line of police officers.
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 Michigan.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Detroit, Minneapolis, and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,200 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 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 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.