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Press Release

South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Two Felony Charges for Using Stolen Police Riot Shield During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Used Riot Shield Against Law Enforcement Protecting the Capitol Buidling

            WASHINGTON — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty today two felony charges for 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.

            Tyler Bradley Dykes, 26, of Bluffton, South Carolina, pleaded guilty two felony counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and agreed that his use of a police riot shield constituted a dangerous weapon. U.S. District Court Judge Howell scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 19, 2024.

            According to court documents, leading up to January 6, 2021, Dykes subscribed to several public Telegram groups that discussed the 2020 Presidential election, alleged voter fraud, the Electoral College Certification, and anticipated events related to the certification that were going to take place on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. One such Telegram group appeared to be associated with then-President Trump, another Telegram group appeared to be called “Britain First Party – Britain First – Taking Our Country Back,” while a third Telegram group to which Dykes subscribed called for violence and government overthrow by force, quoting Adolf Hitler, among other things.

            Then, on the morning of January 6, 2021, Dykes attended former President Trump’s rally at the Ellipse and walked from the rally to the United States Capitol Building and grounds. As Dykes approached the Capitol, he saw snow fencing and bicycle rack barricades with “AREA CLOSED” signs, but removed the snow fencing and moved the metal bicycle rack barricades, allowing other rioters to more easily enter the restricted area.  On the east side of the Capitol, by approximately 2:05 p.m., the violent mob successfully pushed the outnumbered U.S. Capitol Police officers backwards from their posts near the bicycle rack barricades. Dykes was one of the people near the front of that mob, which forced officers to continue retreating backwards up the East Rotunda steps. Within minutes, hundreds of rioters had flooded and overtaken the platform area outside the East Rotunda doors, forcing the small number of officers all the way backwards. With their backs against the East Rotunda doors, the officers were attempting to prevent rioters from getting inside the Capitol building through those doors.

            By approximately 2:35 p.m., Dykes pushed his way to the front of the mob in front of the doors, where he forcibly, voluntarily, and intentionally grabbed hold of one U.S. Capitol Police Officer’s riot shield. Dykes then continued forcibly, voluntarily, and intentionally using his body and hands to pull the shield away from the officer, who was attempting to maintain control of the shield. Eventually, Dykes overcame the officer and succeeded in breaking the officer’s shield free from the officer’s hands, leaving the officer off balance and vulnerable. Other members of the mob then deployed pepper spray in the direction of the officer from whom Dykes had stolen the shield, and the small number of officers surrounding that officer, who continued attempting to protect the East Rotunda doors. The mob then re-engaged with the line of officers, violently pushing them, throwing things at them, and continuing to pepper spray them, among other things. Dykes, among them, began using the shield to forcibly push other rioters ahead of him, who pushed against the line of officers. He also used the riot shield to obstruct and intimidate the police officers defending the Capitol. Once inside the U.S. Capitol Building, Dykes entered the Capitol’s Rotunda, where he continued carrying the stolen police riot shield.

            By 2:48 p.m., Dykes joined a group of rioters in the secondfloor main hallway, north of the Small Senate Rotunda. There, the rioters were confronting a line of Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) officers that had formed to prevent the angry mob from getting closer to the Senate Floor. The group was loudly and repeatedly chanting “Whose house? Our house!” and then “You serve us!” As the mob began pushing the line of officers, a number of rioters were yelling orders to “push!” Dykes first pushed his way from the rear to the front of the group of rioters. Then, still using the same riot shield he stole from the U.S. Capitol Police Officer outside the Building, Dykes used the police riot shield to obtain leverage while he and others forcibly, voluntarily, and intentionally pushed the line of MPD officers backwards, resisting and opposing their attempts to stop the group from moving closer to the Senate Chamber. Dykes and other rioters successfully impeded and interfered with the police line: the officers were forced to retreat further down the hallway. As they forced the officers back, the rioters began chanting, “USA, USA, USA!” Dykes also continued holding the shield and using it to obstruct and intimidate the police officers defending that hallway.

            This 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 Offices for the Western District of Virginia and the District of South Carolina.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Columbia, South Carolina Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 39 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,387 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 500 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 April 19, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-342