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Press Release

Michigan Man Sentenced for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Attacked Police with Stolen Baton

           WASHINGTON - A Michigan man was sentenced today for assaulting law enforcement 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.

           Matthew Krol, 64, of Linden, Michigan, was sentenced to 51 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras. Krol pleaded guilty on Aug. 15, 2023, to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon, a felony.

           According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Krol—a self-professed executive officer of the Genesee County, Michigan Volunteer Militia and associate of the Wolverine Watchmen, an extremist group comprised of individuals convicted in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—joined the storming of the police line on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds, stole a police baton from an officer by pulling the officer in circles before wrestling it away, and celebrated his conduct by holding the baton in the air. Krol then used that same police baton to strike at least three police officers, badly injuring the right hand of a U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant.

           Krol traveled to Washington, D.C., from his home in Michigan to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally and afterward made his way to the U.S. Capitol building, where he eventually found himself facing off with a line of police officers on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds. Court documents say that Krol was one of the most active instigators in the violent clash between police and rioters that ultimately forced officers to retreat from the West Plaza.

           Prior to his attack on police, at about 2:28 p.m., Krol pushed forward through the crowd of rioters on the West Plaza and threw a water bottle at police. He then physically attacked the line of police officers several times. First, Krol grabbed a Metro Police Department (MPD) Officer and the officer’s police baton, spun the officer around multiple times, wrestled away the baton, and then held it up in celebration. Krol then used the officer’s baton to strike other MPD officers.

           Shortly thereafter, at about 2:29 p.m., a U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell was assisting another law enforcement officer who had fallen to the ground when Krol approached, raised the stolen baton, and violently struck downward on the Sergeant Gonell’s outstretched bare right hand with the police baton. As a result of the attack, Sergeant Gonell experienced significant injuries to his hand.

           Krol was arrested on Feb. 22, 2022, in Michigan.

           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.

           This case is being investigated by the FBI Detroit Field Office’s Flint Resident Agency and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Krol as #291 in its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

           In the 35 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,230 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 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 December 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-766