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Louisa man arrested for assaulting law enforcement during Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Crystal Graham
jan. 6 capitol insurrection
(© Gallagher Photography – Shutterstock)

A Louisa man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Lewis Wayne Snoots, 59, of Louisa, Virginia, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and civil disorder.

Snoots is also charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

Snoots was arrested Tuesday in Virginia and made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of Virginia.

His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

Court documents and surveillance footage

According to court documents, United States Capitol Police surveillance footage shows an individual, later identified as Snoots, entering the Lower West Terrace doorway (the “Tunnel”) leading into the U.S. Capitol building, wearing what appears to be a gas mask on the top of his head.

Snoots is then seen approaching the established police line in the tunnel and moving forward and backward with the nob of rioters as part of an attempt to overwhelm and breach the police line.

Snoots is then seen pressing against a USCP officer’s riot shield in an attempt to prevent police from pushing the mob of rioters out of the tunnel.

At about 3:17 p.m., Snoot is observed passing USCP riot shields back over his head and back to the mob of rioters.

At 3:18 p.m., another rioter, Albuquerque Head, proceeded to drag Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone out of the tunnel. Snoots observed Fanone as he was restrained and dragged out of the tunnel, and as Snoots moved closer to Fanone, Snoots proceeded to grab Fanone by the upper back. Snoots continued to grab Fanone by the upper back as the officer was further dragged away from the tunnel and other law enforcement officers.

Court documents say that at about 3:19 p.m., Snoots used both of his hands to physically restrain Fanone while other rioters assaulted him.

Open-source video depicts Snoots as he grabbed Fanone’s right hand and pulled Fanone’s right arm away from his body, which appeared to significantly hinder and impair Fanone’s ability to defend himself against the continuous assaults by other rioters.

Following his assault on the Capitol and assault on Fanone, Snoots made a statement later that evening, which appeared in a video posted to a social media website. In the video, Snoots states, “I’m fed up with it. Everybody is fed up with it. They have tear gassed our ass off of the Capitol steps, but it’s not over. What they don’t understand is it’s just starting. Every political a****** up in that place is now going to have a target on their back everywhere they go.”

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Anyone with tips may call (800) CALL-FBI or visit tips.fbi.gov.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.