WASHINGTON — An Oklahoma man was arrested last week related to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6., which disrupted the U.S. Congress that was in the process of counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Benjamen Scott Burlew, 41 years old from Miami, Okla., is being charged with federal offenses that include acts of physical violence on restricted grounds. Burlew made his initial court appearance in the Northern District of Oklahoma last week on Aug. 20.
According to federal court documents, Burlew was captured in two videos engaging in a physical assault against a credentialed Associated Press photographer. As depicted in the first video, the photographer was pulled down a set of stairs near the U.S. Capitol Building by two unknown attackers.
While attempting to avoid confrontation, the photographer relocated his position elsewhere on the stairs when the photographer was aggressively confronted by Burlew. As alleged, after that confrontation, Burlew and others grabbed the photographer, pushed him, then shoved and dragged him parallel to the stairs.
After shoving the photographer, Burlew walked in the other direction while the other attackers continued to push and drag the victim.
Later, the photographer was observed on a second video having been backed up against a stone wall separating the U.S. Capitol structure from the west lawn by attackers. 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, several feet below.
Burlew continued to shove and push the photographer until the photographer was thrown back over the wall, where he landed on his back on the grounds of the west lawn. As alleged, Burlew can be seen in the video leaning over the wall to observe his fall.
Burlew is one of eight individuals in this investigation who have been arrested for allegedly destroying media equipment, assaulting journalists, or inciting violence against members of news media.
The 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.
In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
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