A Connecticut man, Benjamin Cohen, has been arrested and charged with assaulting law enforcement during the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Cohen is facing felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress and involved physical contact with officers, entering restricted areas, and participating in a mob effort to push against the police line in a tunnel. The arrest comes as part of ongoing efforts to hold individuals accountable for their actions during the Capitol breach, with over 1,100 individuals arrested so far.
Connecticut Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
In a significant development, a Connecticut man has been arrested for assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Benjamin Cohen, 21, of Westport, Connecticut, has been charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses related to his actions on that fateful day. The arrest comes as part of ongoing efforts to hold individuals accountable for their role in the attack on the Capitol and the disruption of a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Charges and Arrest
Benjamin Cohen has been charged with civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses. Additionally, he faces several misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings. Cohen was taken into custody in Westport and made his initial appearance in the District of Connecticut.
Identification of Benjamin Cohen
Law enforcement authorities were able to identify Benjamin Cohen from the crowd of rioters gathered on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds. Open-source video and body-worn camera footage showed Cohen breaching the police line and physically engaging with a group of officers. He can be seen pushing and shoving them as the crowd moves forward. Later, Cohen was heard shouting, “Our House!” while being part of the mob.
Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers
Cohen’s involvement in the assault on law enforcement officers is well-documented. Video footage captured him shoving and striking officers with his hands on multiple occasions. Notably, Cohen joined other rioters in the Lower West Terrace tunnel and participated in a concerted effort to push against the police line in what is referred to as the “heave-ho” action. The video evidence clearly shows Cohen engaging in physical violence towards the officers, further adding to the severity of the charges against him.
Participation in Tunnel ‘Heave-Ho’
Cohen actively took part in the mob’s attempts to breach the police line in the tunnel. He was seen pushing against other rioters and joining their coordinated efforts to forcefully push back against the police. The actions within the tunnel were captured on video, displaying the coordinated force applied by the mob, including Cohen.
Involvement in the Mob
As part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, Cohen’s participation extended beyond assaulting law enforcement officers. He remained within the mob just outside the tunnel entrance for a significant period of time, actively supporting the combined efforts to push back into the tunnel. These actions highlight the extent of his involvement and his contribution to the disruption of the joint session of Congress.
Photographed Inside the Capitol Building
As the chaos unfolded, Cohen managed to enter an office inside the Capitol building. A photograph captured him situated near a broken window to the left of the tunnel entrance. The photograph was taken after Cohen had apparently rinsed his eyes following a confrontation with the officers. The evidence clearly places Cohen inside the Capitol building, further establishing his direct involvement in the breach.
Prosecution and Investigation
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case against Benjamin Cohen. The investigation, led by the FBI’s New Haven and Washington Field Offices, identified Cohen through seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was also provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Number of Arrests in Relation to Capitol Breach
Since the events of January 6, 2021, a substantial number of individuals have been arrested for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Over 1,106 individuals from nearly all 50 states have been apprehended, and more than 350 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. These arrests demonstrate the determination of law enforcement agencies to bring those responsible to justice.
Tips and Contact Information
As investigations into the Capitol breach continue, the FBI urges anyone with information related to the incident to come forward. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or by visiting tips.fbi.gov. The cooperation of the public is crucial in holding all individuals involved accountable for their actions on January 6, 2021.
In conclusion, the arrest of Benjamin Cohen serves as a significant step in the ongoing efforts to address the repercussions of the Capitol breach. The charges against him reflect the seriousness of his actions while participating in the assault on law enforcement officers. As the investigation progresses and additional arrests are made, it is hoped that justice will be served for those who were affected by the events of that day.