WASHINGTON – A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today to two counts stemming from attacks on law enforcement officers and a member of the media during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. His actions and those of others disrupted a joint session of the United States. Congress convened to verify and count electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Alan William Byerly, 55, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or embarrassing law enforcement officers and striking, beating, or injuring an individual on grounds federal.
According to court documents, Byerly had previously purchased a stun gun, which he carried on Jan. 6, 2021, to a rally near the Ellipse, and, later, at the Capitol. He entered the field illegally and made his way to the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, joining other rioters. Around 2:10 p.m., rioters pulled an Associated Press reporter — who was carrying a camera and wearing a helmet-style gas mask and lanyard with Associated Press lettering — down a flight of stairs leading to the west facade of the Capitol. . Byerly watched as the group pulled the reporter down the stairs and a subsequent assault. Then, at the bottom of the stairs, he and three other individuals grabbed the journalist and pushed, shoved and dragged him. Byerly grabbed the reporter with both hands and pushed him back. He then continued to push and drag him off the stairs.
Shortly after, while still on the Lower West Terrace, Byerly approached law enforcement officers who had formed a line of bike racks to act as a barrier between them and the crowd. Byerly approached the officers, raised his right hand which was holding a stun gun and activated the weapon. Officers managed to remove Byerly’s stun gun, but he continued to charge at officers, physically punching and pushing them. He also grabbed an officer’s baton. His actions caused an officer to lose his footing and fall and land on his hands.
Byerly was arrested on July 7, 2021 in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. He is due to be sentenced on October 21, 2022. He faces a legal maximum of eight years in prison for assaulting, resisting or obstructing law enforcement officers and one year in prison for hitting, beating or injuring an individual for federal grounds. Charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice are pursuing the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office and its resident agency in Allentown and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Byerly as No. 193 in his search photos of information. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department
In the 18 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 850 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 260 people charged with assaulting or obstructing the ‘law application. The investigation is still ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.