Retired special forces soldier threw flagpole at cops like spear during Capitol riot, FBI says

A retired U.S. special forces soldier faces several criminal charges over the assault of several police officers during the Capitol riot, including the throwing of a flagpole like a spear at another officer, authorities said.

Jeffrey McKellop, 55, was arrested Wednesday and is the latest military veteran charged in the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol. In all, he faces six federal charges.

Images of McKellop show him in a crowd wearing military-type tactical gear, including a gas mask, body armor and helmet. During a confrontation with a Washington D.C., police officer, he picked up a flagpole from the ground and shoved in the officer’s face, the FBI said.

He then allegedly threw the pole “similar in fashion to throwing a spear,” according to court documents.

The officer suffered a laceration to the face, according to an FBI affidavit.

Moments prior, the Fisherville, Va., resident clashed with three other police officers in which he allegedly assaulted them. Authorities said he also threw a bottle at Washington D.C., police and Capitol Police officers and tried to wrestle away a can of riot-control spray from another officer.

Police body cameras captured McKellop violently engaging with authorities, the FBI said. At one point, he was captured holding a “thin blue line” flag. The image signals support for law enforcement officers.

The FBI said it received tips, including from someone who claimed to have served in the Army with McKellop from 2002-2016, the FBI said. The tipster stated that McKellop was currently working as a military contractor and that they had last seen him overseas in 2018.

McKellop served 22 years in the Army. A second enlistment from 1993 to 2010 including time as a mechanic and Special Forces communications sergeant. He served deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the report said.

The FBI has so far has arrested more than 300 people who allegedly participated in the riot and dozens have been charged with assaulting police officers. Two men have been indicted over the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who later died from injuries he suffered during the melee.

On Thursday, the FBI released 10 videos showing the “most egregious attacks on law enforcement during the riot.