Feds Arrest Wyoming Man For Attacking Police With Flagpole During Jan 6 Riot

Federal authorities have charged and arrested Bedford resident Douglas Harrington for allegedly assaulting Capitol Police officers with a flagpole during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots. He faces up to 75 years in prison.

LW
Leo Wolfson

August 14, 20238 min read

A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole.
A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

A Bedford man has become the second Wyoming resident to face federal charges for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, accusing him of assaulting U.S. Capitol Police with flagpole. 

Douglas Harrington, 68, is facing six federal charges that, if convicted, could land him in prison for up to 75 years.

The case was filed in July and unsealed last week. The case was sealed until an arrest warrant against Harrington was executed. Harrington was arrested by the FBI in California on Aug. 8, according to federal documents.

How Do They Know?

The FBI Washington Field Office identified Harrington through open-source videos taken Jan. 6.

William Whitfield, a special agent assigned to the FBI through its Rock Springs Resident Agency, assisted with the investigation and outlined the allegations in the criminal complaint against Harrington and his warrant for arrest.

The person eventually identified in multiple photos and videos as Harrington wearing a cowboy hat, goggles, gas mask and a backpack also brandished a flagpole with a metal ball on the end, which was used to strike law enforcement officers on the Capitol grounds Jan. 6.

The FBI asked for the public’s assistance in identifying what they described as “BOLO (Be On the Lookout) 470-AFO.”

A confidential source reported Harrington as being this person, according to Whitfield’s affidavit. 

An analysis of Harrington’s social media accounts also provided visual corroboration. On one of these accounts, Harrington said he fought in multiple U.S. wars, the affidavit says.

The source provided links to the FBI with additional videos and a photograph taken in the vicinity of the Capitol grounds shortly after former President Donald Trump’s speech Jan. 6, in which the source believed Harrington was present. The man in the photo matched the appearance of the man in the other pieces of content the FBI already possessed, Whitfield wrote.

A photo the FBI says shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
A photo the FBI says shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

Flagpole Weaponized

The silver ball on the flagpole end can also be seen in the photo.

Police body cameras show that the flagpole used to strike law enforcement had a silver ball on top of it and was made of metal consistent with the one seen in the open-source videos that depicted the attack on law enforcement. The person swinging the flagpole also wore identical clothes to the man in other photos.

In social media comments, Harrington described his actions Jan. 6 as a “peaceful protest.”

Search Warrants

The FBI executed a search warrant on Harrington’s cell phone records through T-Mobile, Whitfield wrote.

Analysis completed by the FBI Denver Cellular Analysis Survey Team indicates that the location of the telephone registered to Harrington was consistent with the vicinity of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The analysis specifically showed that at the time of the assault on law enforcement, which according to a timestamp was at about 3:42 p.m., happened when the phone registered to Harrington was in the vicinity of the Capitol.

An FBI special agent interviewed a confidential witness who had a relationship with Harrington, the affidavit continues. During the interview, the witness identified Harrington in three of the Jan. 6 photos. The witness admitted to a possible confirmation bias, saying they already believed Harrington to have been present at the riot prior to the interview. They also said they did not know Harrington well, “but believed themselves capable of recognizing Harrington.”

The FBI also performed a search warrant on Harrington’s Apple iCloud accounts. 

A compilation of photos the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
A compilation of photos the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

Strong Feelings

The FBI’s investigation also found that Harrington wrote various messages rife with conspiracy theories and rejection of the results of the 2020 presidential election. In one message he mentioned committing acts of violence to show “who’s street it belongs too ITS WE THE PEOPLE THE TAXPAYERS.”

In another he wrote, “There is nothing short other than real war wich (sic) will come jan5.” And another that, “There might be blood come starting January 20 and then comes the snipers and start taking out the enemy.” 

On Dec. 11, 2020, a man the FBI believes to be Harrington was photographed riding a scooter and a “Wyoming For Trump” hat near the White House. This was the day before Trump supporters held a 'Million MAGA March' to protest the results of the 2020 election.

About one week later, Harrington wrote, “They dont even know how they are stoking 1776 Boston Tea pary,” “You know i was in DC for a week and at the rallies ladt week” and “I helped the proud boys kick ass.” 

In this conversation, Harrington had been encouraging an associate to join the Proud Boys, a far-right, exclusively male militant organization that promotes and engages in political violence. 

This conversation also revealed that Harrington planned to go to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to “to show our support against the STEAL OF OUR VOTES.”

The next day, Harrington issued an even more clear message.

“THE ENEMY IS THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS BOTH HOUSES ALONG WITH THE SENATE AND TO THE DISCRACE SCOTUS, the pedophilia, homosexuals tranny, Lesbians Abortion Have Corupted (sic) the Highest court of the land and congress,” he said. “It is my solom duty to fight satanic forces of spiritual wickedness in high places ‘NEVER LEAVE A MAN BEHIND’” and “This is my mind made up I will die for our Country if NEED BE BUT NOBODY IS GOING TO TRASH MY COUNTRY ANY LONGER UNDER MY WATCH. THESE COMMIES NEED TO PAY FOR THEIR HIGH CRUMES AND TREASONOUS ATTEMPTED COUP.”

Images from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington there.
Images from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington there. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

The Day Arrives

On the day of the riot, Harrington sent various messages about his location at the Capitol and participation in the event.

Around 7:25 p.m. Jan. 6, Harrington sent an iMessage that read, “I’m here knocking down fencing-to gain entry to the capital bldg.” Four minutes later, Harrington told the same person, “F*** the DC police.”

In the days following, Harrington made further acknowledgements of his participation and sent a message that read, “We should have grabbed all of the traitors and waited for military tribunals.”

He also referred to former Vice President Mike Pence as a “viper satanist” for certifying the results of the 2020 election. 

More than a year after the event, Harrington was still posting on social media in support of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and argued for more extreme violence in the future.

“YOU FIGHT THE WAR WITH BULLETS THIS F****** TIME!! LAST TIME WE MARCHED WITH FLAGS,” he posted on the conservative social media app GETTR in March 2022. “ITS JUST LIKE 1776 YOU MEN  ... LET THE FBI DO THEIR THING. THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN THEM THEY CAN’T LOCK US ALL UP YOU MORONS.”

  • An image from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video that allegedly shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington brandishing a flagpole at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
    An image from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video that allegedly shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington brandishing a flagpole at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)
  • A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, threatening an officer with a flagpole.
    A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, threatening an officer with a flagpole. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)
  • A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole.
    A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

The Charges

One of the six charges the federal government is bringing against Harrington is for assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees. The government also is arguing for an enhanced penalty of up to 20 years in prison for using a deadly or dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury. 

He’s also accused of civil disorder to obstruct, impede or interfere with a firefighter or law enforcement officer lawfully engaged in the lawful performance of his official duties; entering a restricted building or grounds; and tampering with a witness, victim or an informant to obstruct, influence or impede any official proceeding. 

Harrington’s case is being heard before Trump-nominated U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui of the District of Columbia. No future hearings have been scheduled in his case.

Other Wyoming Jan. 6ers

Harrington is the second current or former Wyoming resident to be charged for their alleged participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

In 2022, former Cody resident Andrew Galloway received 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution for climbing through a broken window at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Galloway had already moved from Wyoming by the time he received the misdemeanor charge for parading, demonstrating or picketing inside the Capitol and for entering the Capitol for about 11 minutes.

Other Wyoming residents gathered outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 but have not received charges, including Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne and state Sen. Bob Ide, R-Casper.

In 2022, photos surfaced showing Eathorne much closer to the Capitol than he had previously claimed.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter