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Tennessee man faces felony charge for Jan. 6 Capitol riot

At least 1,100 people have been charged with crimes related to a riot on the U.S. Capitol Jan, 6, 2021 Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
At least 1,100 people have been charged with crimes related to a riot on the U.S. Capitol Jan, 6, 2021 Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A Tennessee man has been arrested and charged with a felony and misdemeanors for his role in a violent breach of the U.S Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Michael Tyler Roberts, 44, of Knoxville faces a civil felony disorder charge, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, misdemeanor offenses, according to the United States Justice Department.

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His actions and those of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress which was counting the electoral votes following the 2020 presidential election.

Protesters stormed the Capitol building at the behest of former president Donald Trump who claimed, falsely, that the presidential election had been stolen and that he was the rightful winner. There was no evidence then, nor is there any now, indicating that the election was stolen.

Roberts made his initial court appearance in the Eastern District of Tennessee following his arrest on Nov. 1, 2023.

The 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. It is being investigated by the FBI's Knoxville and Washington Field Offices, which identified Roberts as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #266 on its "seeking information photos."

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Numerous Capitol and local police officers positioned themselves in an exterior Capitol archway, known as the "Tunnel," after having been overrun by riotous protesters. Officers tried to prevent rioters from entering the Capitol building through the archway entrance.

Moments later, according to court documents, rioters attacked the officers, broke the Capitol's glass doors and forced the doors open.

Officers formed a police line and attempted to block the entrance, but rioters continued to try to breach the line using various weapons and physical force to overcome the officers.

Surveillance footage shows Roberts emerging abruptly from the mob near the south side of the Tunnel.

Roberts is then seen moving over and on top of other rioters to get closer to the police line.

He is then observed from his position on top of other rioters grappling with police officers and grabbing hold of their hands and arms, according to documents.

More than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation is ongoing.

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