A Kansas man who allegedly used “aggressive force” to push a Capitol police officer down a small flight of stairs on Jan. 6 was arrested this Monday and subsequently charged, Law&Crime reports.
According to an FBI affidavit, Michael Eckerman, 37, was observed on surveillance video “pushing his way toward the front of the crowd where uniformed U.S. Capitol Police Officers have stopped the push of rioters.”
“Eckerman pushes his way through the crowd up to one of the officers until he is face to face with the officer. He appears to push the officer backwards several feet,” the affidavit states.
“[The Capitol police officer] was interviewed and stated that the individual later identified as Eckerman made his way to the front of the crowd and pushed him with aggressive force,” the affidavit continues. “The push caused Officer K.Y. to lose his balance and fall down a small set of stairs. After being knocked to the ground, Officer K.Y. was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher by an unknown individual.”
Prosecutors say Eckerman yelled at officers after the assault.
“Based on a review of additional video, Eckerman proceeded through Statuary Hall at approximately 2:30 pm, accompanied by his two companions who are cloaked with American flags,” the affidavit states. “Once through Statuary Hall, Eckerman again pushes his way through the crowd until he is front of another police line. He can be seen yelling at officers for several minutes until the crowd pushes its way through the Capitol Police Officers toward the House of Representatives side of the Capitol.”
“Open source information taken from a New York Times article also revealed the portrait of George Washington,” the affidavit states.
Eckerman, wearing a “load bearing tactical vest and red Trump hat,” appeared to emulate Washington’s gesture in a photograph in front of the painting that he posted on Facebook, which authorities say two tipster passed on to them.
“Eckerman had attended West High School in Wichita, Kansas and that Eckerman had sent photos to friends from Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021,” the affidavit states.
Yet another Jan 6 defendant is accused of wearing a tactical vest inside the Capitol
US Justice Dept has announced charges against Michael Eckerman of Kansas. He's accused of pushing his way toward front of mob toward police line, later saying "these motherf**** are traitors" pic.twitter.com/2uXzrBAQO2
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) September 21, 2021
Eckerman has been charged with one count of assaulting law enforcement along with obstructing an official proceeding and disorderly conduct in the Capitol building. He was released on $10,000 bond on Monday.