Howard County man pleads guilty to charges related to spraying a fire extinguisher during Capitol riot

The Statement of Facts supporting the arrest warrant for Matthew Ryan Miller of Cooksville on charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, is photographed Wednesday. The 23-year-old pleaded guilty Feb. 9 to felony charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers.

A Howard County man pleaded guilty to charges related to spraying a fire extinguisher toward police at an entrance to the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., said in a Wednesday news release that Matthew Ryan Miller, 23, of Cooksville pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers. He is set to be sentenced May 23 and could face up to 28 years in prison for the charges. Miller also has the potential to be fined.


Prosecutors said Miller threw an “unidentifiable object” at the Capitol building as a mob gathered on the west side of the area Jan. 6, 2021. Miller was draped in a Confederate flag and used a section of temporary barriers as a ladder to scale the walls of the west side of the plaza. He also assisted other rioters in scaling the walls.

Miller then moved to the Lower West Terrace and close to the tunnel area leading into the building. He waved his hand, prosecutors allege, and said multiple times, “Come on,” as the mob chanted “Heave! Ho!” The mob was trying to push in toward the tunnel entrance that police were attempting to secure.


Multiple times, he put up his fingers and yelled, “one, two, three, push!” He also threw objects toward the tunnel. Then, prosecutors said he used a fire extinguisher to spray directly into the tunnel where law enforcement was stationed.

Miller was arrested Jan. 25, 2021, in Cooksville, prosecutors said.

Since the insurrection, more than 725 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states. Over 225 people were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, and more than 165 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including 22 to felony offenses.