FBI arrests ‘dreaded’ Jan. 6 defendant it says rammed ‘Trump’ sign into police line

William George Knight shoved an officer during the Capitol attack, the FBI said, after "ramming" a giant metal-framed "TRUMP" sign into police officers.

WASHINGTON — A Jan. 6 participant whose dreaded blond locks and face tattoos made him a memorable face in the pro-Trump mob has been arrested in South Dakota, the FBI said, accusing him of shoving an officer during the Capitol melee after “ramming” a giant metal-framed “TRUMP” sign into a line of police officers.

William George Knight faces more than a half-dozen charges in connection with the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, including felony charges of assault on a federal officer and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder.

A profile view of Knight in a yellow circle
The FBI identified William George Knight at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. District Court

Video compiled by “sedition hunters” who have aided the FBI in hundreds of cases against Capitol rioters shows the man identified as Knight was one of the first people to breach the initial barriers at the Capitol and shows him ripping away police barricades as the mob confronts officers. Video shows the same man aggressively confronting law enforcement, at one point rushing toward the police line with an extended flagpole and then smashing it on the concrete in front of officers. Online sleuths initially dubbed the man “Dreaded Proud Boy” by online sleuths because of his hairstyle and his proximity to members of the far-right organization during the initial breach of the Capitol grounds, but federal prosecutors did not present any evidence to connect Knight to the organization.

Video from before the Capitol attack also shows the man identified as Knight banging on glass near the Washington Monument after officers take another man into custody near the Trump rally on the Ellipse, where the election-denying former president told the mob to “fight like hell” or it wouldn’t have a country anymore.

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The FBI affidavit in Knight’s Jan. 6 case says he has “several distinctive tattoos, including one under his left eye … and what appears to be the emblem of the Cadillac car company on his neck.”

Knight wit dreadlocks, right, with a large crowd at the Capitol .
The FBI identified William George Knight at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

“We ain’t leaving! We ain’t going nowhere!” Knight yelled at officers, according to the FBI. “Here are the b—-es. Here are the b—-es.”

Knight also helped use a giant metal-framed “TRUMP” sign as a ram against a line of police officers and then shoved an officer, according to the FBI.

The intent of Jan. 6 participants who touched that sign has been difficult for courts to discern. Some rioters have been convicted in connection with their use of the giant sign, but one rioter was acquitted on a charge connected to handling the “TRUMP” sign, with a judge finding the evidence “ambiguous,” though the defendant was convicted of assaulting officers at multiple other points during the attack.

Federal prosecutors have charged more than 1,425 rioters and secured more than 1,019 convictions against Jan. 6 defendants in the more than three years since the Capitol attack. More than 540 rioters have been given prison sentences from a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison for former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy along with three other people in the organization.

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On Friday, a Trump-appointed federal judge whose dismissal of obstruction of justice charges against Jan. 6 rioters is pending before the Supreme Court convicted a man known as “Sedition Panda” of all the Capitol attack charges he faced. Later in the day on Friday, former Boston K-9 officer Joseph Fisher — who assaulted a Capitol Police officer with a chair — called his own conduct on Jan. 6 “egregious” before he was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison. Christopher Quaglin, a violent Jan. 6 rioter who was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison Friday, said at his sentencing hearing that Trump would be back in office in eight short months, and he offered his services to a future Trump administration before he insulted the Trump-appointed judge who sentenced him.

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