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Press Release

Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

          WASHINGTON – A Texas woman pleaded guilty on July 8, 2024, to assaulting law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. Her 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.

        Dana Jean Bell, 65, of Princeton, Texas, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers before U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Judge Kelly will sentence Bell on Oct. 17, 2024.

        According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Bell was present among a crowd of rioters gathered on the east side of the U.S. Capitol building behind a row of police bike rack barricades. As the crowd became rowdy, Bell grabbed the barricades and started shaking them while looking in the direction of police. Bell then leaned over the barricades toward the officers, gestured with her middle finger, and began cursing at them, including saying, "f— you," among other things.

        By approximately 2:05 p.m., court documents say that certain protestors on the east side turned violent, pushing through the barricades and forcing the outnumbered U.S. Capitol Police officers to retreat backward, abandoning their posts. Within minutes, hundreds of rioters had flooded into the restricted area on the east side, continuing to force the Capitol Police officers to retreat. Eventually, the mob overcame the officers on the East Rotunda stairs and took over the platform area outside the East Rotunda doors.

        At approximately 2:35 p.m., the mob outside the doors began assaulting officers with pepper spray and ripping at least one police riot shield out of an officer’s hands. During this chaos, Bell made her way to the front of the mob, positioning herself directly in front of the East Rotunda doors.

        As the rioters inside the building forced the East Rotunda doors open, Bell reached out and briefly grabbed the doors from the outside. By 2:36 p.m., the mob, including Bell, successfully breached the East Rotunda doors. Bell then entered the building and celebrated shortly after crossing the threshold. Once inside, Bell made her way into the Rotunda and later the Speaker's Lobby. Court records say that Bell repeatedly ignored police commands to leave and instead confronted and verbally assaulted officers.

        Bell was later directed by police toward the North Door exit, where she continued ignoring officers’ commands. As Bell neared the exit, she spun around towards officers and forcibly shoved her left shoulder into one officer’s body, making contact with him. Then, she grabbed the officer's outstretched baton and forcibly pulled it towards her. Bell then exited the building.

        After leaving the Capitol, Bell made her way to the North Lawn, where she attempted to push or grab at a journalist who was recording the event on a cell phone. When an individual stepped in to protect the journalist, Bell raised her hand towards that individual, which was swatted away. Bell then attempted to kick another individual who had been attempting to intervene in the altercation.

        The FBI arrested Bell on Dec. 7, 2023, in Texas.

        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 Texas.

        This case was investigated by the FBI's Dallas and Washington Field Offices, which identified Bell as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #318. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. 

        In the 42 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,470 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 530 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

Updated July 9, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-567