An Auburn man has pled guilty to felony charges for assaulting a law enforcement officer and assaulting a member of the media during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
The U.S. Justice Department said in a press release late yesterday that 44 year old Shane Jason Woods pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers and a related federal assault charge. Woods was the first person charged by the federal government with attacking a member of the news media at the Capitol Riot.
According to court documents, Woods was among those illegally on the Capitol grounds, joining a mob in the Lower West Terrace area. At approximately 2:10 p.m., an individual in the crowd sprayed a Capitol Police officer with a chemical irritant and fled. The officer pursued the person who sprayed her. As she did, Woods lowered his shoulder and rammed into her, knocking her off her feet and sending her crashing into a downed bicycle barricade. The officer felt immediate pain and the next day, she felt as if she had been “hit by a truck.”
In addition, later on in the day on January 6th, Woods gathered with numerous other rioters at approximately 5 p.m. in the media staging area on the northeast side of the Capitol. He walked around some of the piled media equipment that had been and was in the process of being destroyed by other rioters, and he tossed some of it himself. At the same time, a member of the news media attempted to walk away to protect himself and his camera. Woods took a running start and hit the man with a blindside shoulder tackle, knocking him to the ground and causing him to drop the camera.
Woods was arrested in Springfield on June 24th and indicted in late July. At the time of his indictment, Woods had received the most serious charges levied against a participant in the Capitol Riot and attempted insurrection.
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. Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Woods as #238 on its seeking information photos, as well as the FBI’s Springfield, Illinois, Field Office. Assistance was also provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
The charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer carries a statutory maximum of eight years in prison. The federal assault charge carries a statutory maximum of one year. Both charges also carry potential financial penalties. Woods is set to be sentenced on January 13, 2023.