Skip to main content
Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Assault on Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Accused of Using Flagpole as Weapon

            WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania man has been charged with assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon and other crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Howard Charles Richardson, 71, of King of Prussia, is charged with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon, among other charges. Richardson surrendered yesterday in Philadelphia and made his initial court appearance today in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

            According to court documents, video footage depicts Richardson in a group near the bicycle rack-style barricades outside the Capitol. At approximately 1:38 p.m., carrying a metal flagpole with a blue flag attached, he approached an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, who was part of the law enforcement personnel protecting the Capitol. In the video, Richardson can be heard yelling, “here it comes,” before swiftly approaching the officer’s position and striking the officer with the flagpole three times. He only stopped swinging after the flagpole broke in his hands.

            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.

            The case is being investigated by the Fort Washington Resident Agency of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Richardson as #362 in its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department, the Upper Merion Township, Pa., Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 10 months since Jan. 6, more than 675 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 210 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

            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 December 1, 2021

Violent Crime