A Texas man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to 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 2020 presidential election.
Billy Joe Gober, 65, of Smithville, Texas, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. Gober is charged with several misdemeanor offenses as well, including, entering and remaining in 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 act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Gober was arrested on Sept. 13, 2023, in Bastrop County, Texas, and made his initial appearance on Sept. 14 in the Western District of Texas.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, at approximately 1:57 p.m., law enforcement authorities were attempting to maintain the police line on the south side of the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. During this time, Gober walked up a set of stairs to approach the police line, charged and struck a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer. A few seconds later, the officer removed Gober’s hands from their person, but Gober approached the line again and attempted to pull a police barricade away from another officer.
A few minutes later, at approximately 2:04 p.m., a section of the police line on the south side of the Lower West Terrace was collapsing as a result of rioters’ repeated efforts to breach the line, including through the assault of multiple officers. At that time, Gober charged at another MPD officer, grabbed the officer’s baton, and attempted to take it.
Using the baton, Gober then pulled the officer into the crowd of rioters. Once he had pulled the officer into the crowd, Gober grabbed and placed his arms around the officer.
On January 11, three days after Gober’s flight back to Texas, he posted a photograph of himself in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
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 Western District of Texas.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s San Antonio and Washington Field Offices, which identified Gober as BOLO (Be on the Lookout) #333 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 32 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 396 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.