FBI Norfolk arrests Virginia man for assaulting Capitol Police officer during Jan. insurrection

Capitol riots
Posted at 3:35 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 15:35:50-04

WASHINGTON — A Virginia man has been arrested for assaulting a Capitol Police officer during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Wednesday, the District of Columbia unsealed a criminal complaint against 35-year-old Paul Russell Johnson of Lanexa for inflicting bodily injury on certain officers, among other charges.

Officials with FBI Norfolk arrested Johnson at his home Tuesday morning. He was listed as #49 in the FBI's seeking information photo gallery.

According to the Department of Justice, Johnson was arrested pursuant to a complaint in the District of Columbia and made his initial appearance in court Wednesday. The complaint charges Johnson with inflicting bodily injury on certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; obstruction of justice and Congress; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and acts of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

According to court documents, Johnson was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, where he was captured on video assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer and engaging in disorderly conduct. As depicted in open-source video footage reviewed by the FBI, Johnson was part of a crowd of people seen walking over and around the first line of barricades just off the roadway of Peace Circle. As the crowd approached a second line of barricades, guarded by uniformed USCP officers, Johnson can be seen on video holding a megaphone and shouting profanities toward the police, including, “Let’s go! F*** this s***! We pay your bills, you back the f*** off.”

As alleged, Johnson became confrontational with USCP officers as he approached the second line of barricades. He can be seen forcibly pushing and pulling on the metal barricades, which caused a USCP officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. Hours later, the officer blacked out and collapsed while arresting a rioter and had to be taken to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a concussion.

After dismantling and knocking over the line of metal barricades, Johnson can be seen running up the steps and further onto restricted grounds.

Later in the evening of Jan. 6, the DOJ says a YouTube user posted a video in which Johnson recounted the events that took place outside the Capitol earlier that day. Throughout the video, Johnson described how he personally broke through the barricades, saying, “There’s three sets of gates before you get to the stairs of the Capitol. Alright? We get to the next gate. There’s probably . . . there’s a s*** load of cops up there then. Second wing, we breached, pulled up, start throwing s***. I mean we’re fu-, we’re fighting cops and s***. I have video where I’m slinging one around . . .”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, along with the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department. FBI Norfolk also provided significant assistance.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Download the News 3 app for updates.