Howard Co. man sentenced for spraying fire extinguisher at police during Capitol riot

A Howard County, Maryland, man will spend years behind bars for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which included spraying a fire extinguisher at police officers.

Matthew Ryan Miller, 23, from Cooksville, was sentenced to 33 months in prison Monday in a federal court in D.C., according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Miller arrived at the Capitol draped in a confederate flag.

Once there, he threw a full can of beer at police protecting the building.  

He then used temporary barricades to climb the walls of the west side of the plaza and moved to the Lower West Terrace and the tunnel area leading into the building.

There, he shoved against a police blockade guarding that entrance.

At the tunnel, he exclaimed “Heave! Ho!” and rocked back and forth in pushing toward the tunnel entrance. Miller put up his fingers and yelled, “One, two, three, push!” multiple times.

He also whipped batteries at police and then sprayed a fire extinguisher at them, injuring several officers.

He was arrested three weeks later and pleaded guilty in February to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers. He faced up to 28 years in prison.

Miller was freed after his arrest, but was detained until sentencing after he pleaded guilty.

Miller has attended at least one rally by the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, but investigators found no evidence that he acted in concert with other group members on Jan. 6, prosecutors said in February.

In addition to the prison time, he has to pay $2,000 in restitution. He’ll be on supervised release for two years once he gets out.

Since the Capitol riot, more than 800 individuals have been arrested for crimes related to the breach. Over 250 of them have been charged with assaulting law enforcement.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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