New York Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges For Offenses Committed During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
WASHINGTON – A New York man pleaded guilty today to assaulting law enforcement and other felony charges related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Greg Rubenacker, 26, of Farmingdale, New York, pleaded guilty to all 10 counts of an indictment returned in the District of Columbia, including charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding, and committing an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds.
According to court documents, Rubenacker engaged in a series of confrontations with law enforcement inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. At approximately 2:13 p.m., he entered the Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door, recording a video in which he stated, “This is history! We took the Capitol.” He was in a crowd that was yelling “where are they counting the votes” and that was re-directed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was securing the area. He left the building at 2:21 p.m. but returned 21 minutes later through the Rotunda Door. While in the Rotunda, he smoked marijuana, recording another video that he later posted to a social media website with the caption, “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”
Rubenacker and others resisted officers who were attempting to remove individuals from the Rotunda. At approximately 3:08 p.m., he swung a plastic bottle at an officer’s head. He then sprayed water from his bottle across law enforcement officers engaging with other individuals. Law enforcement pepper-sprayed the crowd, including Rubenacker, who exited the Capitol at 3:20 p.m.
Rubenacker was arrested on Feb. 9, 2021, in Farmingdale, New York. He is to be sentenced on May 13, 2022. He faces up to 20 years in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, up to eight years in prison for assaulting law enforcement, and additional time for the other offenses. The charges also carry potential fines. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The 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 New York.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and New York Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the one year since Jan. 6, more than 725 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 225 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. More than 165 individuals have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including 22 to felony offenses.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.