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Howard County Man Who Scaled Walls, Attacked Police In Capitol Riot Handed 33 Month Sentence

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) -- A Howard County man who scaled walls and attacked police when he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was sentenced Monday to 33 months in prison, the Department of Justice said.

Matthew Ryan Miller, 23, sprayed a fire extinguisher at law enforcement officers who were trying to prevent rioters from entering the building, according to a summary of the case. Video also captured Miller throwing an unidentifiable object toward officers, prosecutors said.

He pleaded guilty in February to felony charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers. Miller was freed after his arrest last year, but U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss in February ordered him to be detained until his sentencing.

Miller traveled to Washington from his home in Cooksville, Maryland. He wore a black cowboy hat, a Washington Capitals jersey and both the Maryland state flag and the Gadsden flag, which features a yellow background and hissing snake, tied around his neck.

After using a metal barrier as a ladder to scale a Capitol wall, Miller urged others in the mob to join him in pushing against law enforcement officers on the Lower West Terrace. Miller waved his hand and said, "Come on," as the mob chanted "Heave! Ho!" and rocked back and forth in pushing towards the tunnel entrance that law enforcement officers were guarding. Miller put up his fingers as he yelled, "One, two, three, push!"

He also sprayed the fire extinguisher at officers in the tunnel. Prosecutors say another rioter, Robert Palmer, picked up the same fire extinguisher, sprayed the contents at officers and then threw it at them. Palmer was sentenced in December to five years and three months in prison.

Miller has attended at least one rally by the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, but investigators found no evidence that he acted in concert with other group members on Jan. 6, according to prosecutors. He also self-identifies as a member of a group called the "Patriotic American Cowboys," prosecutors said.

After his prison term, Miller will be placed on 24 months of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution, officials said.

The Department of Justice said in the 16 months since the insurrection, more than 800 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol building, including over 250 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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