ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two Missouri men accused of assaulting police officers during the U.S. Capitol riot, including pushing bike racks that were being used as barricades into a police line, have been charged.
Jared Luther Owens, 41, of Farmington, and Jason William Wallis, 49, of St. Clair, were charged Monday with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder and assault on law enforcement with a deadly or dangerous weapon, both felonies. They also face several misdemeanor counts. The charges were filed in Washington, D.C.
Owens was arrested Friday, and Wallis was arrested Saturday. Owens’ attorney, Paul Vysotsky, declined comment. Wallis requested an attorney through the Federal Public Defender’s office in St. Louis, but does not yet have one, a man answering phones at the office said Tuesday.
Court records say the two men were seen on video during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot pursuing and screaming at Capitol police officers, at one point yelling, “Coming up the stairs, with you or not.”
Officers moved bike racks to form a barricade as rioters were closing in on a section of the northeast corner of the Capitol. Court documents say Wallis grabbed onto the barricade and, with the help of Owens, shoved it into the line of officers. As a result, one officer sustained a fracture to her right hand and wrist, documents stated.
Later, at the east front of the Capitol, Owens led a crowd of rioters in chanting, “Whose House? Our House!” the charges allege. The court documents say that once they got inside, Owens broke through a police line and pushed a Capitol officer against a wall.
Prosecutors allege that Owens was armed with a knife when he joined the mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol and disrupted the joint session of Congress for certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory over the Republican incumbent. Trump had earlier that day addressed the crowd of his supporters at a rally near the White House, encouraging them to “fight like hell.”
Federal prosecutors say that more than 1,100 people have been charged for crimes related to the assault on the Capitol, including more than 400 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.