Capitol riot suspect charged with attacking AP photographer
Authorities have charged a Pennsylvania man with attacking a photographer for The Associated Press during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Alan William Byerly was arrested on Wednesday, according to The Department of Justice. He is facing five charges in connection with the insurrection, including assault and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
According to an FBI indictment, Byerly was seen on video “assaulting a credentialed member of the news media (MONM), specifically a photographer assigned to the Associated Press.”
The indictment didn’t name the photographer, but a 90-second video that went viral in January showed AP photographer John Minchillo getting shoved and pushed over a wall outside of the Capitol.
The affidavit says that the photographer, who was near the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, was pulled backward down a set of stairs by a group of rioters. Byerly was seen in video standing behind the group that was pulling the photographer down.
At the bottom of the stairs, Bylerly and three others allegedly grabbed the photographer and pulled dragged him back toward where the original altercation took place.
Bylerly also reportedly grabbed the photographer’s face and neck, and continue to shove him away from the stairs and toward a low stone wall. He then shoved him, forcing him to stumble into other members of the crowd, officials say.
More than 535 people have been charged in connection with the deadly attack on the Capitol, several of them accused of attacking journalists or stealing equipment.
Late last month, Shane Jason Woodson of Illinois became the first defendant charged with attacking the press. He is accused of running up to a cameraman and tackling him to the ground in the media staging area.
Sandra Weyer, also of Pennsylvania, was arrested for allegedly filming and encouraging the attack of a New York Times photographer.
Aside from attacking the AP photographer, Byerly is also charged with assaulting a D.C. Metropolitan Police officer and a Capitol Police Officer.
After unsuccessfully attempting to tase officers, Byler physically struck and pushed against them, according to authorities. He also allegedly tried to steal one of the officers’ baton