Montgomery County Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Officers During Jan. 6 Attack

(Screen shot, US Department of Justice)

By Patrick Berkery

April 28, 2022

Howard C. Richardson faces 8 years in prison for repeatedly striking a police officer with a flagpole during the US Capitol insurrection.

A Montgomery County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting law enforcement officers during the insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Howard C. Richardson, 71, of King of Prussia, pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. He was arrested last November in Philadelphia.

Richardson is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26. He faces a maximum of eight years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. 

According to court documents, Richardson made his way to the restricted area of the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, passing by metal barriers and police officers attempting to keep the crowd away. Richardson was standing several feet away from the police line with a flagpole that he initially waved while he was among the crowd. He raised it and forcefully swung it downward to strike an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department who was standing behind a metal barricade. Richardson then struck the officer two more times, using enough force to break the flagpole.

Richardson was identified through photos by the FBI, with assistance from Upper Merion Township police.

Public court documents show that in the 15 months since the Capitol insurrection, nearly 800 people have been arrested for participating in the deadly attack, including nearly 70 Pennsylvanians. The only state with more residents arrested in connection to the insurrection is Florida.

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