COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Grove City man already serving five years in prison was arrested Wednesday and is faced with several charges for his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, breach on the U.S. Capitol.
According to the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, Benjamin Shuler, 28, is accused of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses.
Additionally, Shuler faces the following misdemeanor charges: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings.
Court documents said Shuler resisted a police line that was established to clear the area of protesters on the northwest stairs of the U.S. Capitol building. At 4:48 p.m., Shuler reportedly began pushing a police officer’s riot shield several times and pressed his body into the shield.
Shuler continued to resist as the police line attempted to advance down the steps, the document said. He allegedly pressed his body into an unidentified police officer’s riot shield and shoved it back several times. As officers continued to move the police line down the stairs, Shuler resisted police and pushed an officer’s riot shield several times with significant force.
A police officer’s body-worn camera footage depicted Shuler a few minutes later as he gestured to others to meet him in front of the police line and again resisted police by pushing back and swiping at an unidentified officer’s riot shield.
Police were also able to verify Shuler’s identification based off of publicly posted photos on his own Facebook account.
A criminal complaint stated that during an interview with authorities, Shuler initially denied going to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. When shown photographs of himself from the U.S. Capitol, he then acknowledged that he had gone to the Capitol and had interacted with law enforcement officers while there.
Shuler, who was involved in a fatal 2020 two-car crash on Jackson Pike in which he was not wearing a seat belt, was arrested Wednesday from Lancaster’s Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and made an initial appearance in the Southern District of Ohio court.
On Sept. 29, 2020, three months before Jan. 6, Shuler was charged with vehicular homicide when his car veered left of center, then struck and killed Olivia Wright, 22, of Circleville.
Thirteen months later, Shuler was sentenced to five years in prison with 1-3 years of post-release control and ordered to pay the victim’s family $19,000. He received one day of jail time credit.
Shuler is the third person from Grove City arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots in the last three months. Dustin Martin and Cody Lee Tippett were arrested in June on several charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and entering and remaining in a restricted building.
Since Jan. 6, more than 1,146 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 398 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.