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Press Release

South Carolina Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement with a Deadly Weapon and Other Charges During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Accused of Throwing Objects and Spraying Chemical Irritant at Police

            WASHINGTON — A South Carolina man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including for allegedly assaulting law enforcement officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon 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.

            Justin Daniel Perrou, 44, of Charleston, South Carolina, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with five felony offenses, including civil disorder; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

            In addition to the felonies, Perrou is charged with two misdemeanor offenses of disorderly or disruptive conduct in the Capitol grounds or buildings and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

            The FBI arrested Perrou on Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Charleston. He will make his initial appearance in the District of South Carolina.

            According to court documents, Perrou was identified in open-source video footage as present among a group of rioters amassed on the West Plaza of Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. Here, on the West Plaza, as rioters attacked the police officers using various weapons, Perrou observed the scene under the Inauguration scaffolding with a black bullhorn in hand.

            Perrou allegedly used his bullhorn to yell obscenities at police officers in the area and later threw the device in their direction. Around 2:26 p.m., Perrou stepped toward the front of the crowd of rioters and faced off with the police line. Rioters then forcefully attempted to pull the bike rack barriers away from the police officers, and a brawl broke out. Perrou allegedly pushed forward toward police, reached his arm at the face shield of an officer, and forcefully yanked it down. 

            Court documents say that after an hour-and-a-half of attacks from rioters, the police line broke, and the officers retreated. The rioters, including Perrou, surged forward and pursued. By this time, Perrou allegedly obtained a long pole and threw it at the officers. Perrou then again approached officers and allegedly threw a folding chair in their direction.

            Perrou then allegedly obtained two law enforcement-issued chemical irritant sprayers. Court documents say that he handed one to another rioter and sprayed the other directly at police. Perrou allegedly worked his way south on Capitol grounds and continued to spray the chemical irritant at police officers who were being attacked from all sides.

            The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina provided valuable assistance.

            The FBI’s Columbia and Washington Field Offices investigated this case. The FBI identified Perrou as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #531 on its seeking information photographs. 

            Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 38 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,358 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 486 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

            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 March 22, 2024

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Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-262