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Press Release

North Carolina Man Sentenced For Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Assaulted Police with Metal Flagpole

            WASHINGTON — A North Carolina man was sentenced today for assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Matthew Jason Beddingfield, 22, of Middlesex, North Carolina, was sentenced to 38 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol.

            Beddingfield pleaded guilty, on Feb. 16, 2023, to the felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, at approximately 12:58 p.m., Beddingfield jumped over a barricade and charged toward a group of U.S. Capitol Police officers who were near the scaffolding that had previously been erected outside the southwest side of the building. A crowd surrounded the officers. At approximately 1:06 p.m., Beddingfield attacked the officers, jabbing at them with a metal flagpole he had brought with him. Soon thereafter, Beddingfield can be seen throwing a metal rod at law enforcement. He remained on the restricted grounds, moving about, before entering the Capitol at approximately 2:38 p.m. through a door on the upper west terrace.

            Once inside the Capitol, Beddingfield made his way to the Rotunda before joining a group of rioters who attempted to storm the Senate wing. Beddingfield was towards the front of the rioters and assisted the crowd’s push against police officers. Beddingfield and the other rioters returned to the Rotunda after a chemical irritant was deployed. He continued walking around the Capitol and entered the office of then-Congressman Kevin McCarthy before finally leaving the Capitol at approximately 3:07 p.m. Court documents say that Beddingfield spent approximately 30 minutes inside the Capitol and about two hours on the restricted grounds.

            According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, when Beddingfield committed these acts, he was on conditions of pretrial release in Johnston County, North Carolina, while awaiting trial there on a charge of attempted murder.

            Additionally, before the events of January 6, and specifically on November 17, 2020, Beddingfield wrote to an unidentified Instagram user, “Anyone who is in antifa deserves a slow death. They are literally communists.” Nearly a year after the events at the Capitol, on January 19, 2022, Beddingfield wrote to an unidentified Instagram user, “I’d like to reclaim America and it is fine if a few of my peoples enemies are ‘hurt’ in the process.”

            This case was 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 North Carolina.

            This case was investigated by the FBI Charlotte Field Office’s Raleigh Resident Agency and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.           

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Updated July 11, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-376