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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Ohio Man Arrested in Alabama for Assault on Law Enforcement during Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Repeatedly Attacked Police, Punched and Struck Officers

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, an Ohio man was arrested in Alabama for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas, 38, of East Liverpool, Ohio, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and engaging in physical violence on Capitol grounds, among other charges. Thomas made his initial court appearance in the Northern District of Alabama on May 26.

According to court documents, Thomas was on the Upper West Terrace at 4:22 p.m. where he was captured on Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) body-worn camera (BWC) footage advancing toward a line of law enforcement and pushing against their shields. As depicted in the footage, Thomas punched and struck the officers with his fist and forearm at least twice. At 4:26 p.m., officers began to dispel the crowd of rioters from the steps. Thomas turned toward rioters and ordered them to “hold the line” against advancing officers, repeating this several times. In subsequent interviews, law enforcement officers confirmed the attack and stated the individual “was one of the first to come in and start hitting [and] pushing officers on the line.”

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 Northern District of Alabama.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, who identified Thomas as #214 on their seeking information photos, as well as the MPD, with significant assistance provided by the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office.

In the first 120 days after Jan. 6, approximately 440 individuals have been arrested on charges related to the Capitol breach, including over 125 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 tips.fbi.gov.

The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 27, 2021