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Press Release

New York Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant, a Member of the Central New York Proud Boys, Accused of Pepper Spraying Police

           WASHINGTON — A New York man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including 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.

          Aaron Donald Sauer, 43, of Syracuse, New York, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct in any restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.

          In addition to the felonies, Sauer is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including destruction of government property, knowingly engaging in act of physical violence in any restricted building or grounds. disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, act of physical violence on Capitol grounds, parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

          Sauer was arrested today by the FBI in Syracuse and will make his initial appearance in the Northern District of New York.

          According to court documents, Sauer, a Central New York Proud Boys Chapter member, traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, to attend a rally at the Ellipse. Sauer was identified in open-source video footage marching with other members of the Proud Boys toward the U.S. Capitol building. He was later identified as present among a crowd of rioters amassed on the Lower West Terrace. Sauer wore a BulletSafe bulletproof vest, Kevlar gloves, and a balaclava, among other items.

          Court documents say that at approximately 2:31 pm, while on the Lower West Terrace, Sauer sprayed a chemical agent, consistent with the pepper spray, toward a line of police officers. Sauer was also identified in open-source media kicking, pushing, and damaging portions of a fixed black metal fence on the Lower West Terrace. After destroying a portion of the fixed black metal fence, Sauer can be seen in video footage moving and stacking bike rack barricades.

          Following the day's events, Sauer wrote of his exploits, "We were the front line for storming the cap. Fought through five police blockades. Took some."

          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 Northern District of New York.

          This case is being investigated by the FBI's Albany and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

          In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 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

A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 7, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-103