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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Wellington Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Attacking Officers During Capitol Breach

Defendant Struck and Pulled Down Officer’s Gas Mask

WASHINGTON – An Ohio man pleaded guilty on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

Clifford Mackrell, 22, of Wellington, Ohio, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. In his plea agreement, Mackrell admitted that he forcibly assaulted a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 5, 2023.

According to court documents, Mackrell traveled from his home in Ohio to Washington, D.C., to participate in the January 6 political rally at the Ellipse. At the rally, Mackrell wore a red shirt covered by a heavy blue-toned, striped jacket and heavy tan-colored gloves. He also carried a black backpack and donned a gas mask. Following the speeches, he marched to the Capitol.

Around 2:30 p.m., Mackrell positioned himself on the front line of rioters on the west front of the U.S. Capitol building. While on the front line of rioters, he engaged with and assaulted law enforcement officers from both the USCP and the Metropolitan Police Department who were on a line attempting to hold back the mob.

At 2:30 p.m., Mackrell pushed back barricades with other rioters, forcing law enforcement to abandon their line and retreat closer to the Capitol building to form a new protective line without the use of barricades.

While there, between 2:28 p.m. and 2:35 p.m., Mackrell engaged in multiple assaults and unlawful conduct, which included striking and pushing officers who were engaged in and assisting officers of the United States in the performance of official duties. Specifically, Mackrell attempted to push an MPD officer, then successfully struck and pulled down the officer’s gas mask as the officer tried to help hold a line against rioters. In his plea agreement, Mackrell admitted that when he struck the officer and pulled down the officer’s gas mask, he knew the officer was engaged in the performance of official duties.

In another instance, Mackrell helped push a piece of what appeared to be plywood into a line of officers, pushing them off the protective line. When the plywood fell, another rioter pushed an officer to the ground. Mackrell then physically confronted other law enforcement officers on the front line by pushing them.

The FBI arrested Mackrell in Wellington on Mar. 17, 2021.

This 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. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Cleveland Field Office, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.


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