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Justice News

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

Monday, August 28, 2023

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

Defendant Sprayed Police Line with Chemical Irritant

            WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to 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.

            James Wayne Maryanski, 52, of Boyertown, Pennsylvania, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon. In addition to the felonies, Maryanski is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; obstruct, or impede passage through or within, the grounds or any of the Capitol buildings; act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or building.

            Maryanski was arrested on Aug. 25, 2023, and will make his initial appearance today in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Maryanski was part of the crowd of rioters who breached the police barricades at the Peace Circle Monument at about 12:52 p.m. Here, the rioters quickly outnumbered and overwhelmed the manned police barriers and flooded the Lower West Plaza. The crowd then quickly pushed through the permanent metal fencing at the West Plaza barricade and made their way to the West Plaza, where they confronted and engaged with the police line for the next hour and a half.

            As the police officers attempted to hold the line on the West Plaza against the growing crowd, Maryanski, wearing a black hooded jacket with the words “Break Up Big Tech” written on it, blue jeans, and brown work boots, approached the police line and grabbed onto a bike rack barrier as he appeared to yell at police officers.

            Law enforcement lines later began to fall back, and the rioters continued to progress forward. Officers were pushed up against the wall of the Capitol building and became trapped between the wall and the mob. The officers then discovered a temporary staircase that led to the Upper West Plaza and quickly began retreating up that narrow staircase. Before the officers could retreat, Maryanski approached the police line holding a large canister. When he reached the front of the line of rioters and faced the officers attempting to retreat up the stairs, Maryanski raised the large canister of chemical irritant and deployed it directly at the officers’ faces. Officers then retreated, and rioters, Maryanski included, followed them to the Lower West Terrace.

            Maryanski later entered the Capitol building through a shattered and pushed-out window. Rioters ransacked the room that Maryanski entered; they tore the furniture apart, dumped belongings all over the floor, and passed broken furniture out of the window to use as weapons against officers.

            Eventually, Maryanski left the Capitol grounds. After January 6, he posted on Facebook about his participation in the Capitol riot. In one of his comments, he stated that Jan. 6, 2021, “was a dry run.”

            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 Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

            This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia and Washington Field Offices, which identified Maryanski as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #478 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance 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.



Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated August 28, 2023