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Press Release

Virginia Man Arrested for Assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police Officer in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Man Shouted Profanities, Broke Barricades and Knocked Officer Unconscious During Capitol Breach

Note: A full copy of the complaint can be viewed 

WASHINGTON — Today, the District of Columbia unsealed a criminal complaint against Paul Russell Johnson, 35, of Lanexa, Virginia, for inflicting bodily injury on certain officers, among other charges.

Johnson was arrested pursuant to a complaint in the District of Columbia and made his initial appearance in court on April 14. The complaint charges Johnson with inflicting bodily injury on certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; obstruction of justice and Congress; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and acts of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

According to court documents, Johnson was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 where he was captured on video assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer and engaging in disorderly conduct. As depicted in open-source video footage reviewed by the FBI, Johnson was part of a crowd of people seen walking over and around the first line of barricades just off the roadway of Peace Circle. As the crowd approached a second line of barricades, guarded by uniformed USCP officers, Johnson can be seen on video holding a megaphone and shouting profanities toward the police, including, “Let’s go! F*** this s***! We pay your bills, you back the f*** off.”

As alleged, Johnson became confrontational with USCP officers as he approached the second line of barricades. He can be seen forcibly pushing and pulling on the metal barricades which caused a USCP officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. Hours later, the officer blacked out and collapsed while arresting a rioter and had to be transported to the emergency room where she was assessed to have suffered a concussion. After dismantling and knocking over the line of metal barricades, Johnson can be seen running up the steps and further onto restricted grounds.

Later in the evening of Jan. 6, a YouTube user posted a video in which Johnson recounted the events that took place outside the Capitol earlier that day. Throughout the video, Johnson described how he personally broke through the barricades, stating, “There’s three sets of gates before you get to the stairs of the Capitol. Alright? We get to the next gate. There’s probably . . . there’s a s*** load of cops up there then. Second wing, we breached, pulled up, start throwing s***. I mean we’re fu-, we’re fighting cops and s***. I have video where I’m slinging one around . . .”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, along with the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department, who listed Johnson as #49 on their seeking information photos. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the FBI-Norfolk Field Office.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

The charges contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated April 14, 2021

National Security