Court Battles

Virginia man knocked officer unconscious during Capitol riot, prosecutors say

A Virginia man knocked a police officer unconscious during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors said.

Authorities unsealed a case on Wednesday against 35-year-old Paul Russell Johnson, who is facing five charges in connection with the riot, including “inflicting bodily injury on certain officers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in an emailed press release.

Prosecutors allege that Johnson can be seen on video walking with a crowd over and around a line of barricades just off the road of Peace Circle.

Once the crowd reaches another line of barricades, Johnson is seen forcibly pushing and pulling on the barricades, causing a U.S. Capitol Police officer to fall and hit her head hard on a set of stairs before losing consciousness.

Hours later, the officer blacked out and collapsed while arresting a rioter and was taken to the emergency room. The officer was found to have suffered a concussion. 

After dismantling that line of barricades, Johnson ran further onto the Capitol grounds.

Authorities did not identify the officer who was injured.

Video of Johnson detailing how he broke into the barricades was later posted on YouTube.

“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 shit load of cops up there then,” Johnson says in the video. “Second wing, we breached, pulled up, start throwing shit. I mean we’re f—-d, we’re fighting cops and shit. I have video where I’m slinging one around.”

In addition to inflicting bodily injury, Johnson is also facing obstruction charges, as well as engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and act of physical violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings.

Johnson was arrested and made his initial appearance in court Wednesday.

Hundreds of arrests have been made thus far in the riot that resulted in five deaths, including that of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. The U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, which represents the officers, said in late January that nearly 140 officers suffered physical and emotional wounds from that day.

Tags Capitol breach Capitol riot United States Capitol Police

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