Downstate man is first to be arrested for assaulting media during U.S. Capitol breach
Shane Jason Woods, 43, is also accused of assaulting a U.S. Capitol police officer who had been pursuing another individual who sprayed officers with bear mace.
Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that a man from downstate Auburn is the first to be arrested for assaulting a member of the news media during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach that interrupted the Electoral College vote.
Shane Jason Woods, 43, is also accused of assaulting a U.S. Capitol police officer who had been pursuing another individual who sprayed officers with bear mace. And a month before the breach, he allegedly wrote a chilling message about the results of the 2020 election to someone who told him on Facebook, “I want to see all those a—hats go to jail too.”
“Hung,” Woods allegedly replied on Dec. 1.
Woods is now charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, assault in a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds. He is at least the 11th person from Illinois charged in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol, and he was due in court Thursday afternoon.
A 29-page criminal complaint alleges Woods is the owner of Auburn Heating and Air. It also reveals that two people identified Woods for the FBI. One taught at a college Woods attended in the early 2000s and reached out to the feds. The other person was one of his customers.
Attempts on Thursday afternoon to reach Woods or a representative of Auburn Heating and Air were not immediately successful. Woods’ attorney, Sarah Noll, confirmed her client had been released on bond after his court appearance Thursday. She declined to comment on the allegations.
Authorities determined Woods was a man seen on video at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 who wore a black North Face jacket, an Under Armour backpack and a mostly black baseball cap with a stars-and-stripes brim and “Trump” written across the front.
Officers were trying to contain a large crowd of protesters at the northwest corner of the U.S. Capitol around 2:10 p.m. that day, according to the complaint. When they tried to arrest a struggling protester, someone sprayed the officers with bear mace.
An officer tried to run after the person who sprayed the mace, though much of her visor had been covered with it, according to the feds. That’s when Woods allegedly can be seen on video running toward the officer, tripping her and pushing her to the ground.
The officer fell, lost her helmet and was surrounded by protesters until another officer could help her, authorities said.
Later, around 5 p.m., the feds say several protesters gathered around a media staging area on the northeast side of the U.S. Capitol and began destroying equipment. Woods can allegedly be seen on video climbing over a toppled fence to help attack the media’s equipment, picking up and tossing some of it.
The feds say Woods was also caught on video running into and tackling a cameraman who was facing away from him, “departing quickly” after he did so.
Investigators tracked several charges made to the Auburn Heating and Air Conditioning small business checking account around Washington between Jan. 5 and 7, according to the complaint. They included purchases at Taco Bell and on the Washington, D.C., Metro system, as well as at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.