Man charged in Jan. 6 assault of news photographer

Man charged in Jan. 6 assault of news photographer
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An Oklahoma man on Friday was arrested and charged with assault and act of physical violence in connection to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Benjamen Scott Burlew, 41, was charged with assault in special territorial jurisdiction and acts of physical violence on restricted grounds for his actions at the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

According to federal prosecutors, Burlew engaged in the physical assault of a credentialed photographer for The Associated Press.


Video captured at the scene showed that Burlew “aggressively confronted” a photographer and then, with other individuals, “grabbed the photographer and pushed him, then shoved and dragged him parallel to the stairs," according to his indictment.

Prosecutors said Burlew then “disengaged” and walked away from the scene of the incident while the other alleged assailants “continued to push and drag the victims.”

Burlew, however, had another encounter with the photographer later in the day after the journalist was “backed up against a low stone wall” by the other alleged assailants.

Burlew then threw the photographer over a wall to the west lawn of the Capitol, reports said.

“As alleged, Burlew lunged toward the photographer and grabbed his upper chest and leg to forcefully throw and push the photographer over the wall to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, several feet below,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

“Burlew continued to shove and push the photographer until the photographer was thrown backward over the wall, where he landed on his back on the grounds of the west lawn,” prosecutors added.

According to video taken at the scene cited in the indictment, Burlew then leaned over the wall to “observe” the photographer’s fall.

Burlew, according to prosecutors, is one of eight individuals in the investigation who were arrested for allegedly demolishing media equipment, attacking journalists or provoking violence against members of the news media.

More than 570 individuals in nearly all 50 states have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in the seven months following the incident, including more than 170 people who have been charged with assaulting or impending law enforcement, according to prosecutors.

A violent, pro-Trump mob descended on the Capitol as the Senate was meeting Jan. 6 to certify the electoral college vote, which said that President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE had won the 2020 presidential election against former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE.

Some rioters stormed the Capitol, which caused lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNearly 80 percent of Republicans want to see Trump run in 2024: poll Why is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? Replace Kamala Harris with William Shatner to get kids excited about space exploration MORE to go into hiding. The certification of the election results was also delayed for several hours.