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Press Release

New York Man Sentenced on Felony Assault Charge for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Sprayed Multiple Officers with a Bear Attack Chemical Irritant

           WASHINGTON – A New York man was sentenced on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, on a felony assault 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.

           Edward Rodriguez, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was sentenced to 36 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and inflicting bodily injury. Rodriguez pleaded guilty on Mar. 13, 2023, in the District of Columbia.  

           According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Rodriguez deployed bear attack deterrent spray on multiple police officers during the riots outside the U.S. Capitol Building. The assault was captured on video posted to social media. Rodriguez was also seen among a crowd of protesters at the plaza level of the west side of the U.S. Capitol, where he pointed a spray canister at visibly marked law enforcement officers manning a barricade on the plaza and sprayed the officers with a bear attack spray before he retreated into the crowd. Rodriguez also was recorded on video being interviewed on the scene by an independent reporter. In that video, he stated, “Here in America, we fight back. We will never surrender to dictatorship, corruption, communism, or socialism. We the people will never put up with their bullsh-t….”

           Additionally, in body-worn camera video from Metropolitan Police Officers (MPD), Rodriguez was recorded as he deployed bear attack spray at MPD officers stationed at the West front barrier of the Capitol grounds. During portions of these videos, Rodriguez wore a red mask, but for brief moments, he pulled the mask down below his face.

           Rodriguez was arrested on July 9, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York.

           This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

           The case was investigated by the FBI's New York and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

           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

Updated November 7, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-677