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

Friday, August 26, 2022

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Assaulting Officer During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Repeatedly Struck Officer With Flagpole

            WASHINGTON – A Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, 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 C. Richardson, 72, of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in the District of Columbia.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Richardson made his way to the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol grounds, passing by metal barriers and police officers attempting to keep the crowd away. He was carrying a flagpole that he initially waved while he was among the crowd. At about 1:38 p.m., Richardson was standing several feet away from the police line at the West Terrace with the flagpole. He raised it and forcefully swung it downward to strike an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department who was standing behind a metal barricade. Richardson then struck the officer two more times, using enough force to break the flagpole. Then, moments later, he joined other rioters in pushing a large metal sign into a line of law enforcement officers.

            Richardson was arrested on Nov. 30, 2021, in Philadelphia. He pleaded guilty on April 27, 2022, to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.

            The 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 Pennsylvania.

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

            In the 19 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 860 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 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 August 26, 2022