Rioter Handcuffed and Released on Jan. 6 Finally Faces the Music

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

A Missouri man who was briefly handcuffed then released by Capitol Police on Jan. 6 is now facing eight federal charges stemming from the pro-Trump riot. Jared Luther Owens and his co-defendant, U.S. Army veteran Jason William Wallis, allegedly hurled a bike rack at a line of cops trying to prevent protesters from breaching the Capitol building, according to a detention motion filed Monday by prosecutors.

One of them “saw Owens break through the police line and push another U.S. Capitol Police officer up against a wall,” the filing states. “After seeing the assault of the other officer, Officer D.T. detained Owens. The officer took Owens to an exit, released Owens from handcuffs and allowed him to exit through the Senate Carriage Door.”

In a complaint added to the federal docket later on Monday, after the case was transferred from Missouri, where the pair was arrested, to Washington, D.C., where they will be tried, the Deputy U.S. Marshal on the case wrote that Wallis was identified on Apr. 29, 2021, by a friend of more than 20 years.

The friend handed over a screenshot of a Jan. 6, 2021 text exchange between Wallis and his girlfriend, who had boasted to the friend’s wife about Wallis’ participation in the failed insurrection, according to the complaint.

The texts included a selfie of Wallis in front of the Capitol, and a message that read, “We literally just stormed the capital [sic] building and forward [sic] the police I have video inside the building.”

“That’s bad ass,” came the reply.

The complaint does not specify precisely how Owens was initially identified, but says that he was seen with Wallis on security video taken inside the Capitol during the riot. He was then linked to his residence in Farmington, Missouri using public records, and placed under surveillance by the FBI, the complaint states.

Both mens’ phones were found to have pinged off of cell towers near the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“We bought old riot police got fucking beat with batons teargas maced and literally fought them so they didn’t let us into shit,” Wallis said in a text that day, according to the complaint. “I was on the front lines.”

Investigators also showed photos of Owens to his former parole officer, and confirmed he was indeed the same person seen in footage inside and outside the Capitol.

Owens has done time for drug possession with intent to distribute, and has been sentenced to probation for other drug-related offenses and DUI, according to the detention motion.

He and Wallis do not yet have attorneys listed on the docket, and were unable to be reached for comment on Monday.

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