Jul 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Man charged with attacking AP photographer and police during Capitol riot

Supporters of US President Donald Trump stand next to media equipment they destroyed during a protest on January 6, 2021 outside the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Supporters of former President Trump stand next to destroyed media equipment outside the U.S. Capitol, jan. 6. Photo: Agnes Bun/AFP via Getty Images

A Pennsylvania man was arrested Wednesday on charges for the assault of an AP photographer and police officers during the U.S. Capitol riot, the Department of Justice announced.

Driving the news: Alan William Byerly, 54, is accused of being part of a group that pulled the photographer backward down some stairs, according to an FBI indictment. He and three others allegedly "pushed, shoved and dragged" the photographer. Byerly is also alleged to have grabbed his "face and neck."

A man in a hat identified by the FBI as the suspect who attacked the AP photographer
Footage the FBI says shows the AP photographer being attacked, with Byerly identified as the suspect in the gray hat (top, center). Photo: FBI/DOJ
  • In addition, Byerly is accused of hitting three police officers and also trying to use a stun gun on officers before trying, unsuccessfully, to grab a baton.
  • He faces six charges related to the insurrection, including assault on a federal officer and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds charges.

The big picture: More than 535 people have been charged over the Capitol attack.

  • The DOJ has in recent weeks stepped up efforts to arrest suspected rioters who assaulted members of the media or damaged their equipment during the attack.

What they're saying: AP spokesperson Patrick Maks said in a statement, "It is deeply troubling when journalists are targeted for simply doing their jobs."

  • "These charges are an encouraging sign that those who attacked journalists on Jan. 6 will be held accountable," he added.
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