Virginia Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Physically Restrained MPD Officer who was Assaulted
WASHINGTON - A Virginia man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to 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.
Lewis Wayne Snoots, 59, of Louisa, Virginia, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and civil disorder. Snoots is also charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Snoots was arrested today in Virginia and made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to court documents, United States Capitol Police (USCP) surveillance footage shows an individual, later identified as Snoots, entering the Lower West Terrace Doorway (the "Tunnel") leading into the U.S. Capitol building, wearing what appears to be a gas mask on the top of his head. Snoots is then seen approaching the established police line in the Tunnel and moving forward and backward with the nob of rioters as part of an attempt to overwhelm and breach the police line. Snoots is then seen pressing against a USCP officer's riot shield in an attempt to prevent police from pushing the mob of rioters out of the Tunnel.
At about 3:17 p.m., Snoot is observed passing USCP riot shields back over his head and back to the mob of rioters. At 3:18 p.m., another rioter, Albuquerque Head, proceeded to drag Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone out of the Tunnel. Snoots observed Officer Fanone as he was restrained and dragged out of the Tunnel, and as Snoots moved closer to Officer Fanone, Snoots proceeded to grab Officer Fanone by the upper back. Snoots continued to grab Officer Fanone by the upper back as the officer was further dragged away from the Tunnel and other law enforcement officers.
Court documents say that at about 3:19 p.m., Snoots used both of his hands to physically restrain Officer Fanone while other rioters assaulted him. Open-source video depicts Snoots as he grabbed Officer Fanone’s right hand and pulled Officer Fanone’s right arm away from his body, which appeared to significantly hinder and impair Officer Fanone’s ability to defend himself against the continuous assaults by other rioters.
Following his assault on the Capitol and assault on Officer Fanone, Snoots made a statement later that evening, which appeared in a video posted to a social media website. In the video, Snoots states, "I'm fed up with it, everybody is fed up with it. They have tear gassed our ass off of the Capitol steps, but it's not over. What they don't understand is it's just starting. Every political a****** up in that place is now going to have a target on their back everywhere they go."
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 Virginia.
This case is being investigated by the FBI's Washington Field Office Violent Crimes Task Force, which identified Snoots as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #113 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI Richmond Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 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.
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.