Oklahoma Man Who Assaulted AP Photographer On Jan. 6 Gets Arrested

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: Trump supporters climb and surround the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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August 24, 2021 6:56 p.m.

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that an Oklahoma man caught on video pushing an Associated Press photographer over a wall outside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection was arrested last week.

Benjamen Scott Burlew of Miami, Oklahoma, is the second person charged with assaulting photographer John Minchillo, who documented the pro-Trump mob of Capitol insurrectionists on Jan. 6.

Burlew is charged with federal offenses that include “assault in special territorial jurisdiction and acts of physical violence on restricted grounds,” according to a DOJ press release.

Court documents cite two videos that show Burlew physically assaulting Minchillo, who was pulled down a set of stairs outside the Capitol building by two unknown assailants.

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“While attempting to avoid confrontation with these unknown assailants, the photographer relocated his position elsewhere on the stairs, at which point the photographer was aggressively confronted by Burlew,” the DOJ said. “As alleged, after that confrontation, Burlew, together with other assailants including Alan William Byerly, grabbed the photographer and pushed him, then shoved and dragged him parallel to the stairs.”

After Minchillo was dragged by other assailants and backed up against a low stone wall, Burlew lunged toward the AP photographer and grabbed his upper chest and leg before throwing and pushing him over a wall. Burlew then continued shoving and pushing Minchillo, who was thrown backward over the wall. Video shows Burlew leaning over the wall to watch Minchillo fall.

According to the DOJ, Burlew is among the eight individuals who have been arrested for allegedly destroying media equipment, assaulting journalists or inciting violence against members of the press during the Capitol insurrection.

Nearly 600 people have been charged with federal crimes related to Jan. 6 thus far, with dozens charged with assaulting police officers who defended the Capitol as the mob of Trump supporters breached the building.

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