Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Rioters attack police during the Jan. 6 assault against the nation's capital.
As the rioter in the orange shirt fought with a police officer for control of the offier’s shield, Knight (yellow) advanced toward the police line.

Rapid City man arrested for Jan. 6 assault on Capital

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A South Dakota man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including for allegedly assaulting law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. 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.

William George Knight, 37, of Rapid City, South Dakota, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses.

In addition to the felonies, Knight is charged with five misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

The FBI arrested Knight on May 26, 2024, in Rapid City. He is expected to make his initial appearance today in the District of South Dakota.

William George Knight
William George Knight

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Knight attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., and witnessed the United States Park Police (USPP) take an individual into custody. A crowd of others, including Knight, allegedly pursued the USPP to a screening facility, a glass structure, and Knight aggressively approached the glass wall four times over approximately seven minutes, each time pushing himself off the wall and gesturing toward police. Knight then put his middle fingers up to the glass and pointed menacingly at the police inside the Screening Center.

Knight later made his way toward the Capitol and entered the Capitol grounds via the Maryland Avenue walkway. Knight and others were allegedly among the first rioters to breach the restricted perimeter and arrive at the West Plaza at approximately 12:57 p.m. A short while later, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officers arrived to reinforce Capitol Police and set up a barrier using bike racks on the West Plaza. It is alleged that Knight grabbed one of the bike rack barriers and fell backward because he had pulled on the barrier so forcefully.

At about 1:14 p.m., Knight allegedly attempted to pull a second bike rack barrier away from a different nearby police line. After initially grabbing the second bike rack, Knight retreated before charging toward the police line and diving to grab the barrier. Court documents say that MPD officers had to deploy chemical spray to stop Knight. Knight then jeered at the police line for several minutes, pointed at them aggressively multiple times, and yelled at the police, “We ain’t leaving! We ain’t going nowhere!” and “Here are the b—. Here are the b—.”

Court documents allege that at about 1:40 p.m., Knight and a large group of other rioters pushed a giant metal-framed sign toward the police line. After ramming the sign at police, Knight allegedly shoved an MPD officer and again grabbed a bike rack barrier and pulled it into the crowd, depriving the police of its use. Knight remained at the vanguard of rioters confronting officers, chanting, “Stop the steal! Stop the steal!” with other rioters.

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Later, at approximately 2:08 p.m., Knight is alleged to have been part of a group of rioters that pushed together against the police line on the Lower West Plaza. The police line collapsed at approximately 2:30 p.m., and Knight and other rioters made their way up one level to the Lower West Terrace. Knight remained on the Lower West Terrace for at least two hours.

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 District of South Dakota.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Minneapolis Division, Rapid City Resident Agency, and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 40 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,424 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 500 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

 

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