Man Accused of Spraying Chemical Irritant at Jan 6 Officers

Washington -- July 18, 2022 Press Release U.S. Attorney''s Office District of Columbia Texas Man Arrested for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

A Texas man was arrested today for assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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 presidential election.

William Hendry Mellors, 50, of Tomball, Texas, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony and misdemeanor offenses, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon. He was arrested in Houston. He is to make his initial court appearance today in the Southern District of Texas.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, Mellors illegally entered the grounds of the Capitol. He was among rioters engaging in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, and he sprayed officers with a chemical substance that appeared to be a commercially available bear spray. He later was identified through photographs and other evidence. In a voluntary interview with the FBI on May 31, 2022, Mellors admitted that he brought two cannisters of bear spray with him to Washington on Jan. 6. 

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. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Houston Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

 In the 18 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 850 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Security Division (NSD)
USAO - District of Columbia
USAO - Texas, Southern
Press Release Number: 
Updated July 18, 2022

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