Maryland Man Arrested on Felony Charges For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Maryland Man Arrested on Felony Charges For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

            WASHINGTON — A Maryland man has been arrested on felony charges, including assaulting a law enforcement officer, for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

            Adam Ryan Obest, 42, of Thurmont, Maryland, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with obstructing, impeding, or interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, assaulting an officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon, act of physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, all felonies, and act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.

            According to court documents, at approximately 2:31 p.m., Obest is seen on Body Worn Camera (BWC) video engaging law enforcement officers while holding a flagpole on the West Plaza of the Capitol Building. Obest maintained his hold of the flagpole as a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer grabbed the end of the flagpole. Obest eventually jerked the flagpole away and ran back into the crowd of rioters. Less than a minute later, Obest raised the flagpole above his head and brought the end of it down abruptly into the line of officers. Obest then engaged directly with the MPD Officer and attempted to take the officer’s baton out of their hands before eventually retreating into the crowd.

            In Facebook posts, Obest indicated he and his wife attended the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., and were in the vicinity of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.  Obest also commented via social media on a video posted by Bill O’Reilly: “Can’t wait to hear your analysis on the protests at the Capitol today. I was there and it was 96% peaceful.”

            This 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. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Obest as #422-AFO on its FBI Tip website. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

            A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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