2 men accused of assaulting officers with flagpole, wasp spray during Capitol riot

Nov 9, 2023, 4:29 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two men in Indiana and Illinois were arrested this week and accused of separately assaulting peace officers with a flagpole and wasp spray during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Troy Allen Koen, 53, of Brownsburg, Indiana, faces federal felony charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, destruction of government property and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Koen also faces four additional misdemeanor charges in connection with the riot.

No attorney was listed for Koen in federal court records, and he declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday evening. He was arrested Thursday in Indianapolis and was expected to make an appearance in the Southern District Court of Indiana that day, the attorney’s office said.

Separately, 57-year-old William Lewis of Burbank, Illinois, faces federal felony charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, in addition to at least three misdemeanor charges, the attorney’s office said in a separate news release.

Lewis’s case remains under seal, according to federal court records. It was unclear Thursday afternoon if he has obtained an attorney and Associated Press could not immediately reach anyone to comment on his behalf.

The attorney’s office said Lewis was arrested in Burbank, Illinois, on Thursday and will make his initial appearance in the Northern District Court of Illinois.

Investigators accused Koen of smashing a glass door, allowing rioters to enter the building and of assaulting officers with a flagpole, according to court documents.

Koen struggled with law enforcement officers and managed to remove bicycle rack barriers on the northwest side of the West Plaza, “creating a major vulnerability in the police line,” investigators said. Authorities allege Koen and others “violently seized” a second police barricade causing one officer to be dragged to the ground.

Court documents said law enforcement then retreated into an entryway tunnel near the Lower West Terrace behind locked glass doors. The documents included what investigators said are pictures of Koen holding a flagpole with two flags attached — one reading “Trump 2020” and the other a confederate flag.

Investigators allege Koen hit a glass door marked “Members Only” with the flagpole until it shattered, allowing others to reach through and open the door. Koen then disassembled the flagpole into two pieces and used them to, “repeatedly assault officers by jabbing the flagpoles into the officer line,” the documents said, citing body camera footage.

In Lewis’ case, court filings accuse him of deploying wasp spray against officers three times.

Citing body camera footage, the documents said Lewis can be seen spraying wasp and hornet killer spray at law enforcement officers before throwing the canister at them.

Authorities said multiple anonymous tips identified Lewis after the FBI released images from the Capitol riots. Investigators also tracked his cellphone within the vicinity of the Capitol building in the afternoon on Jan. 6, 2021.

Lewis was also accused of breaking three window panes located to the right of the Lower West Terrance tunnel with a baton, according to court records that included photos.

Koen and Lewis are among about 1,200 people that have been charged with federal crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 riot, which left dozens of police officers injured. More than 400 people have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, including more than 100 people accused of using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury.

More than 700 people have been sentenced for Jan. 6 crimes, with roughly two-thirds receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from three days to 22 years.

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2 men accused of assaulting officers with flagpole, wasp spray during Capitol riot