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Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Used Flagpole to Strike at Group of Law Enforcement Officers

            WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvanian man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement with a deadly or dangerous weapon, related to his conduct 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 presidential election.

            Lowell Gates, 63, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, both felony offenses. In addition to the felonies, Gates is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds, violent conduct in a Capitol building or grounds.

            Gates was arrested today in Harrisburg and will make his initial appearance in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

            According to court documents, Gates traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, with a group of friends and attended a rally at the Ellipse. Gates then walked toward the U.S. Capitol building on Pennsylvania Avenue and approached the restricted grounds of the West Plaza. Video footage taken from that day shows Gates appearing to use a cell phone to photograph and or video the riot while standing near the scaffolding on the side of the West Plaza.

            Court documents say that at approximately 2:29 p.m., Gates can be seen on body-worn camera footage throwing an object at a group of law enforcement officers before assaulting them with a flagpole. Video footage shows Gates using the flagpole in a spear-like motion to lunge at the officers, striking at them at least three times.

            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 Middle District of Pennsylvania.

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

            In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 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. 

            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 August 7, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-442