Texas Man Found Guilty of Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Assaulted Police Officers in Tunnel
WASHINGTON – A Texas man was found guilty in the District of Columbia today of two felonies and four misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 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 presidential election.
Matthew DaSilva, 51, of Lavon, Texas, was found guilty of six charges following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Oct. 12, 2023.
DaSilva was convicted of civil disorder; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings. DaSilva was found not guilty of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
According to the government’s evidence, DaSilva was present among the crowd of rioters that had amassed on the western front of the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. At approximately 2:35 p.m., DaSilva made his way onto the west plaza of the Capitol and was holding a flagpole and waving a large blue flag. At around 4:20 p.m., DaSilva was observed on Capitol Police CCTV footage at the back of a group of rioters, engaging in a group “heave-ho” maneuver in an attempt to dislodge law enforcement from their position defending the Lower West Terrace tunnel entrance to the building.
At approximately 4:33 p.m., DaSilva was observed approaching a group of officers assembled in the tunnel and forcibly pushing against an officer’s outstretched riot shield. DaSilva is then seen grabbing a riot shield and pulling it away from an officer. Court documents say that DaSilva then made further physical contact when he swatted the officer’s arm away as the officer attempted to deploy a handheld canister of OC spray.
The 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 Northern District of Texas.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Dallas Field Offices, which identified DaSilva as BOLO (“Be On the Look Out”) #230 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 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. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.