Ex-Special Forces Soldier Lobbed Flagpole Like ‘a Spear’ During Capitol Riot: FBI

Pilar Melendez
·4 min read
Criminal Complaint
Criminal Complaint

A retired U.S. Army Special Forces soldier is facing charges after allegedly attacking several police officers, including beating one with a flagpole, during the Capitol riots.

Jeffrey McKellop, from Virginia, has been charged with several crimes, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a deadly weapon, and violent entry. Prosecutors allege that during the Jan. 6 siege, McKellop can be seen fighting with a line of D.C. Metropolitan Police officers trying to stop the mob from entering the Capitol, before throwing bottles and flagpoles, and trying to grab at their riot spray.

McKellop is seen picking up “a flagpole from the ground” and “shov[ing] it into the face” of an D.C. cop before throwing the flagpole at another cop, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday. The flagpole had a “Blue Line National” flag and a thirteen-star “Betsy Ross” flag embossed with the words “Trump. Keep America Great” on it.

“McKellop’s actions caused a laceration to MPD Officer 4’s face,” the complaint notes, adding that he allegedly injured at least three more officers.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>McKellop was filmed shoving a flagpole in an officer’s face.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Criminal Complaint</div>

McKellop was filmed shoving a flagpole in an officer’s face.

Criminal Complaint

Prosecutors say they were first alerted to McKellop’s identity after multiple tipsters identified him on an FBI website asking for public tips. One of those witnesses, who knew McKellop for at least six years, “described him as a retired U.S. Army Special Forces soldier and a military contractor who, at times, works overseas and resides in Fishersville, Virginia, which is located near Staunton, Virginia.”

Another person said he’d served with McKellop from 2001 to 2016 and noted that he “was a military contractor” who had been overseas as recently as 2018. The same witness also identified the contents of a “kit” that McKellop can be seen wearing in the photos and videos, which included a helmet, gas mask, and ballistic vest.

The complaint says the “kit” contained the same gear the first witness saw McKellop “wearing in an overseas combat zone in 2018.” In one video, a patch that is a symbol of the U.S. Army Special Forces can be seen on McKellop’s backpack.

Who Are They? FBI Asks Public to ID 10 Men Shown on Violent Capitol Riot Videos

Prosecutors state that McKellop was among the group of MAGA diehards that initially encroached on the Capitol building. Wearing a helmet and gas mask, he is seen in one cop’s body-camera footage “using his hands to push officers back” as the crowd tries to inch closer to the building.

In another video, he’s seen “attempting to grab the riot control spray canister of [an] MPD officer in a lieutenant’s uniform.” After pushing one cop, he briefly moves back, before picking up a bottle and throwing it at the line of cops, the complaint states.

When he breached a line of officers to reach the bottom of scaffolding at the Capitol, McKellop is seen fighting again. After one officer took position under the scaffolding with riot-control spray, McKellop “throws the flagpole, similar in fashion to throwing a spear,” the complaint states.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>McKellop attempted to grab the riot control spray canister off this MPD officer.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Criminal Complaint</div>

McKellop attempted to grab the riot control spray canister off this MPD officer.

Criminal Complaint

McKellop is among dozens of rioters to be charged with attacking cops trying to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6. On Thursday, the FBI released a slew of videos seeking the public’s help in identifying 10 individuals believed to have committed the most violent acts during the siege. In the videos, rioters can be seen shoving, bashing, and attacking police trying to stop the mob from storming the Capitol with clubs and chemical sprays.

Prosecutors on Thursday also charged Stephanie and Brandon Miller, an Ohio couple accused of storming the Capitol and documenting it on social media. According to a criminal complaint, the Millers flagged their trip to D.C on Jan. 5, with a Facebook post on Brandon Miller’s page stating: “How much longer are ‘We the People’ Going to let 535 people Tell 330 MILLION People What to Do??? They Work FOR US!! We Pay Them.”

Later that day, Brandon Miller told a friend via Facebook message that he and Stephanie “are going to witness history” in D.C.

Capitol Riot Suspects Are on a PR Blitz

On the day of the riot, Brandon Miller’s Facebook page showed that the couple stayed at a hotel in D.C. before storming the Capitol. In a post after the riots, he wrote on his page: “Don’t believe what the news s [sic] telling you and were listening to it now and it’s so biased. I was there in DC. There is no way biden won.”

The complaint states Stephanie Miller commented on this post, adding that the pair were inside the Capitol and saw a 25-year-old “girl shot either in the chest or neck, not sure which one exactly, and from what we’ve seen she did not make it. She was shot by a cop is what we heard.”

In a conversation with another Facebook friend on Jan. 7, Brandon Miller again confirmed he stormed the Capitol during a siege that left five dead. When asked if he had gotten into any trouble, Brandon replied, “No not yet anyway lol I’m home now I’m banded on Facebook for me going live while I was there we just walked down the main hallway.”

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