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Press Release

Vermont Man Arrested on Felony Charges For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

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

Defendant Accused of Assaulting Officers

            WASHINGTON — A Vermont man has been arrested on felony charges, including assaulting several law enforcement officers 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 presidential election.

            William Arthur Nichols, Jr., 41, of Manchester, Vermont, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or building; and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or building.

            He was arrested today in Vermont and is expected to make his initial appearance later today in the District of Vermont.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Nichols was among a mob illegally massed on the west front of the Capitol grounds. Nichols can be seen on several occasions engaging in violent interactions with police officers.  After approaching a line of police officers who were protecting the Capitol building, Nichols worked his way to the front of the rioters while wielding a large circular shield. He used the shield to push and hit officers over the course of several hours. 

            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 District of Vermont.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office-Fredericksburg Resident Agency and the FBI’s Washington Field Office which identified Nichols as #243 on it seeking information poster. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Albany Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 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

            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 February 1, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-56