WASHINGTON — A Maryland man was arrested today for assaulting law enforcement officers and a member of the news media during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Rodney Kenneth Milstreed, 55, of Finksburg, Maryland, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, simple assault, and related offenses. Milstreed was arrested in Brighton, Colorado, and is making his initial appearance today in the District of Colorado.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Milstreed advanced through a crowd of rioters illegally on Capitol grounds, towards Capitol Police officers on the front steps of the Upper West Plaza. At approximately 1:10 p.m., Milstreed picked up what appeared to be a flagpole and threw it, javelin-style, in the direction of the officers, striking one officer. As events continued that day, a law enforcement officer picked up what appeared to be a smoke grenade off the ground and threw it towards the crowd of rioters. Milstreed ran towards the smoke grenade, picked it up, and launched it back towards law enforcement officers.
According to the documents, Milstreed also assaulted a member of the news media who was wearing a lanyard displaying credentials and carrying at least one camera and a backpack. Milstreed grabbed the backpack and pulled the member of the media backwards down the stairs. He then shoved the victim and advanced towards him in a threatening way.
Social media records showed that Milstreed communicated with others while he was at the U.S. Capitol grounds. Among other things, he sent photos of blood on the floor in what appears to be the Upper West Plaza and then later added, “Man I’ve never seen anything like this. I feel so alive.” Three days later, on Jan. 9, 2021, Milstreed messaged a Facebook associate to describe his participation in the violence and his intention to “crack some heads” while he was there.
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 Offices for the Districts of Maryland and Colorado.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Denver Field Office, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Milstreed as #156 on its seeking information photos, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 16 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 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.
An indictment or complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.