Justice Department announces first charges for assault on news media at US Capitol riot

Justice Department announces first charges for assault on news media at US Capitol riot

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it has charged a US Capitol riot suspect with assaulting a cameraman during the January 6 attack, saying the Illinois man is the first insurrection defendant to be arrested for allegedly harming a member of the media.

Shane Jason Woods, 43, has been charged with a number of federal offenses, including assault on a law enforcement officer, assault in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, according to a statement from the department.

Woods allegedly tripped and pushed to the ground a US Capitol Police officer who had been sprayed with bear mace by another rioter moments earlier, the statement said.

He also allegedly “ran into and tackled” a cameraman outside the Capitol, “causing him to fall and drop his camera,” according to the department, which said Woods was among a group of rioters who damaged equipment that was left after members of the media fled the area.

Woods is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon.

More than 500 people have now been arrested in connection to the Capitol riot, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday, including 100 charged with assaulting federal law enforcement officers.

“I could not be more proud of the extraordinary effort by investigators and prosecutors to hold accountable those who engaged in criminal acts that day,” Garland said in a statement.

This story is breaking and will be updated.