A Michigan man was charged Thursday for allegedly attacking a police officer defending the Capitol with a hockey stick during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Michael Joseph Foy, of Westland, Michigan, has been charged with several crimes, including obstruction of law enforcement and forcibly assaulting an officer, for his role in the insurrection. He’s among the more than 100 rioters who have been charged since Jan. 6, including several members of far-right extremist groups and a Connecticut man who pinned a police officer against a doorway with a riot shield while storming the Capitol.
According to a criminal complaint, Foy was seen in several photos and videos carrying a hockey stick both outside and inside the Capitol. One video, which was included in a New York Times article, shows Foy aggressively swinging “the hockey stick at an individual lying on the ground,” authorities state.
“The article indicates that the video footage was taken during the attack of a law enforcement officer. Specifically, the video shows a large crowd of individuals gathered around an entrance to the U.S. Capitol,” the complaint says. “It further shows the man with the hockey stick lifting the stick above his head and swinging it down rapidly, striking an individual on the ground several times. At no point does it appear that the individual on the ground is acting aggressively, nor does it appear that the attack is justified.”
A YouTube video titled, “I can’t breathe (on the steps)/The Storm Arrived Pt 9,” also offers a harrowing view of the attack. In the video, Foy strikes a group of Metropolitan Police officers who are trying to contain the Capitol mob. In the video, the officers are “knocked down and dragged into the crowd of rioters.” The complaint states that Foy attacked the officers for about 16 seconds until another rioter knocked him down.
In the video, Foy circles back toward the center of the crowd before raising his hockey stick in celebration. While Foy’s shouting is mostly indistinguishable, he can be heard saying, “Let’s go,” while pointing to the Capitol. The complaint states Foy then enters the Capitol through a broken window.
A Jan. 6 photo of Foy on Facebook also shows him carrying the hockey stick with a Trump flag draped around his neck and standing in front of the Washington Monument. A commenter on Facebook asked Foy “was he the guy sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair?” to which his father—Joseph Foy— responded, “He was raised better.”
Prosecutors state they were alerted to Foy’s identity on Jan. 10, after a tipster sent investigators a photo of him carrying a hockey stick with the message: “This is the man that killed the police officer. He hit him with a hockey-stick over and over in the head.” The complaint, however, says investigators have “no evidence” that Foy killed a police officer or intended to cause deadly harm.
The complaint states that Foy had participated in Trump rallies since the election. In one Nov. 6 photo, Foy is seen wrapped in an American flag outside the TCF Center in Detroit. The rally was held in support of former President Donald Trump and in outrage over the election results in Michigan—where President Joe Biden won.
Christopher Kelly, a New York resident, was also charged for participating in the insurrection after allegedly telling Facebook friends he’d be at the Capitol with “ex-NYPD” and members of the far-right group the Proud Boys. He has been charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, unlawful entry to a restricted building, and violent entry/disorderly conduct for his alleged role in the riot.
According to a criminal complaint, Kelly told a Facebook friend on Jan. 4 that he was planning to drive to the nation’s capital. When his friend told him to “stay safe, Antifa will be out in force,” Kelly replied, “No worries, I’ll be with ex-NYPD and some proud boys.”
“This will be the most historic event of my life,” Kelly added.
Prosecutors added that Kelly’s brother is a retired NYPD officer, and that evidence suggested he planned to travel to D.C. with him. On Jan. 6, Kelly wrote in another Facebook post that his brother took a photo of him standing shirtless outside the Capitol. The photo was also sent to another Facebook user with the message, “We’re inside! Hearing stopped, sending everyone to the basement.”
“Kelly’s intent was evidenced by his pre-protest behavior and his statements while he was unlawfully entering and occupying the US Capitol Building, including ‘Sure spread the word, taking this back from force now, no more bs,’” the complaint states.
Patrick Stedman, a self-described “dating [and] relationship strategist” from New Jersey, was also arrested Thursday in connection with the Capitol siege. Prosecutors say they were tipped off to the 32-year-old’s participation by former classmates—and several videos of the riot that Stedman posted on his Twitter account, which has over 25,000 followers.
“I was pretty much in the first wave, and we broke down the doors and climbed up the back part of the Capitol building and got all the way into the chambers,” Stedman says in one Jan. 6 video posted on Twitter. A tipster told the FBI that Stedman shared videos of him “storming the Capital, then bragging about it after,” and had encouraged “his tens of thousands of fans to join him in DC for weeks.”
Just before thousands of MAGA supporters broke into the Capitol, Stedman tweeted, “This is the Second American Revolution. I love you all for being here with me. NOW WE FIGHT!”
Immediately after the riots, Stedman tweeted, “Patriots took the hard drives from the capitol. Trump mobilizing DC national guard. Pelosi trying to send in VA national guard to counter. What did we tell you these last few months? The Storm Is Here.”
In another post, Stedman suggested that “Antifa” had started the violence at the riots. “Rumors Antifa started it - can’t confirm, all it would take is a spark though...the anger in MAGA was real,” he wrote. “I want to emphasize I saw ZERO MAGA attacking police. Shouting and anger, sure, but no physical violence. No idea how the scuffles outside started or the shots inside.”
In addition to offering relationship advice and touting his $500 master class—which he claims is the “fastest and most effective way to change your outcomes with women”—Stedman frequently writes about political topics and his affinity for Trump.
He posts regular videos on Twitter called “COVID/CABAL” where he addresses a variety of topics while drinking wine. Stedman frequently posted erroneous claims that Trump won the election.
Federal authorities also charged Andrew Ryan Bennett, stating that the Maryland Proud Boys supporter livestreamed from inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. In the four videos Bennett broadcast to Facebook, he wears a baseball hat adorned with the “Proud Boys” motto.
In one of the videos, Bennett says, “ if you can hear me, share my stream in Discord for me,” seemingly referring to the messaging platform that’s been used by the alt-right. At one point, he chanted “break it down!” with a crowd—referring to a door located in the Speaker’s Lobby that was barricaded by police. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, one of the four pro-Trump protesters who died on Jan. 6, was fatally shot by a police officer while attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby.
A criminal complaint also notes Bennett shared conspiracy theories online prior to the insurrection. On Jan. 4, Bennett posted a conspiracy-laden message, including his belief that President Joe Biden stole the election and Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Days after the riots, on Jan. 11, Bennett admitted to federal agents that he went to D.C. and “that he knew it was wrong” to storm the Capitol.